Ethanol and Ethanoic acid be differentiated on the basis of their following properties:
→ Ethanol is a liquid at room temperature with a pleasant smell. Ethanoic acid has a melting point of 17°C. Since it is below the room temperature so, it freezes during winter. Moreover, ethanoic acid has a smell like vinegar.
→ Ethanol does not react with metal carbonates while, ethanoic acid reacts with metal carbonates to form salt, water and carbon dioxide. For example,
2CH3COOH + Na2CO3 → 2CH3COONa + CO2 + H2O
→ Ethanol does not react with NaOH while ethanoic acid reacts with NaOH to form sodium ethanoate and water. For example,
CH3COOH + NaOH → CH3COONa + H2O→ Ethanol is oxidized to give ethanoic acid in presence of acidified KMnO4 while, no reaction takes place with ethanoic acid in presence of acidified KMnO4.