Alcohols synthesis by nucleophilic substitution

Alcohols may be prepared from haloalkanes by nucleophilic substitution. Primary alcohols react with sodium hydroxide by SN2 process.

Another hand, secondary and tertiary alkyl halides react with water to give alcohols by SN1 mechanism.

With secondary alkyl halides may be used sodium acetate less basic than sodium hydroxide.  The ester formed can be converted into alcohol by aqueous hydroxide, known as ester hydrolysis.