I am curious if there is any chemicals that react with alcohol to either produce a visible colour change or an odour someone could smell.

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    $\begingroup$ As it stands this question is rather broad. What application are you looking for here? For example, potassium dichromate will react with alcohol to produce a colour change, but it will also react with other things to produce the same colour change. $\endgroup$ – bon Jan 25 '16 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ For contamination purposes I wanted to be able to see if there is alcohol in a substance by either sight or odour. $\endgroup$ – B.Lennard Jan 25 '16 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ How can I tell if a liquid contains alcohol with the addition of a chemicals with the cheapest and least toxic option $\endgroup$ – B.Lennard Jan 25 '16 at 22:55

When you say "alcohol", I am not sure if you are referring to ethanol (drinking alcohol) or alcohols in general so in my example I will use ethanol. When an alcohol is combined with a carbocylic acid and a catalyst, they will produce esters (fragrances). For example, ethanol and ethanoic acid would react to produce ethyl ethanoate (a fruity smelling substance) and water.

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There are a plethora of different reactions from all different types of alcohols and carbocylic acids that produce countless different smells. The fragrances also come in a variety of colors as well. If you want to find out more, I would suggest looking up ester synthesis. Hope my answer helps.

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    $\begingroup$ carboxylic acid not carbocyclic acid. $\endgroup$ – LiamH Jan 26 '16 at 9:40

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