Problem: The following compounds have similar molecular weights. Which has the highest boiling point.A)        CH3CH=OB)        C2H5OHC)        CH3OCH3D)        CH3CH2CH3

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We’re being asked to determine the compound with the highest boiling point among the choices.


Recall that the boiling and melting point of a compound depends primarily on its mass and intermolecular forces. The types of intermolecular forces (IMF) are:

1. Hydrogen bonding – occurs in compounds where hydrogen is directly connected to an electronegative element such as N, O, or F; strongest IMF

2. Dipole-dipole interaction – occurs between two polar covalent compounds; 2nd strongest IMF

3. London dispersion forces – occurs in all compounds and is the primary IMF exhibited by nonpolar compounds; weakest IMF


Since the given compounds have similar molecular weights, we only need to determine the type of IMF present.


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Problem Details

The following compounds have similar molecular weights. Which has the highest boiling point.

A)        CH3CH=O

B)        C2H5OH

C)        CH3OCH3

D)        CH3CH2CH3

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Intermolecular Forces concept. You can view video lessons to learn Intermolecular Forces. Or if you need more Intermolecular Forces practice, you can also practice Intermolecular Forces practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Daoudi's class at UCF.