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Phenol and acetic acid can be differentiated by

(a) Litmus test
(b) $NaHCO_3$ test
(c) both Litmus test and $NaHCO_3$ test
(d) None of these
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Answer: $NaHCO_3$ test

Phenols also turn blue litmus red just like carboxylic acids. However, phenols fail to give effervescence with $NaHCO_3$. Therefore, $NaHCO_3$ test can be used to distinguish between phenols and carboxylic acids.
answered Jan 24, 2014 by mosymeow_1

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