How to compare the acidic strength in 1 degree, 2 degree and 3 degree alcohols?


For comparing acidity of organic compounds, one must remove the acidic H from the compounds given and then compare their stability. More stable the anion (negative charge on oxygen) formed by the removal of H, it means it can remove acidic H more easier then others. Thus as the stability of conjugate base (anion) increases, stability will increase.
Thus we simply uses inductive, resonance and hyperconjugation to find out the stability.

Here, in tertiary alcohols, 3 methyl groups destabilises the conjugate base and thus least stable and tertiary alcohols are least acidic.

Thus order is  primary > secondary > tertiary

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Class 12, ncert chemistry book - 2, chapter 2 Alcohols, phenols and ether
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