Alcohols make a family of organic hydrocarbons, with a hydroxyl functional group directly attached with one carbon of the C-C chain. They have a general formula - CnH2n+1OH, where n stands for number of carbons present in a particular alcohol. Methyl alcohol (CH3OH), Propyl Alcohol (C3H7OH) and Butyl alcohol (C4H9OH) serve as common examples of alcohols.
Alcohols are broadly divided into three types, primary, secondary and tertiary, depending upon the number of carbon atoms linked to the carbon atom directly attached to the hydroxyl group.
Ethanol or Ethyl Alcohol is an example of primary alcohols with a chemical formula CH3CH2OH or C2H5OH. Alcohols are formed by fermentation of glucose, produced from the hydrolysis of starch, using enzymes in the presence of yeast as a catalyst.