Distinguish between propanol and ethyl methyl ether by a chemical test. (Hints : Use metallic Na to distinguish)
When metallic sodium is added to a solution of propanol in anhydrous ether, a violent reaction occurs, with the formation of sodium alkoxide and hydrogen gas. The reaction can be represented as follows:
3CH3CH2CH2OH + 3Na → 3CH3CH2CH2ONa + H2
On the other hand, when metallic sodium is added to a solution of ethyl methyl ether in anhydrous ether, no reaction occurs. This is because ether does not contain a hydroxyl (-OH) group that can react with sodium to form sodium alkoxide.