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Chapter: 12th Chemistry : UNIT 11 : Hydroxy Compounds and Ethers

Acidity of alcohols

According to Bronsted theory, an acid is defined as a proton donor and the acid strength is the tendency to give up a proton.

Acidity of alcohols

According to Bronsted theory, an acid is defined as a proton donor and the acid strength is the tendency to give up a proton. Alcohols are weakly acidic and their acidity is comparable with water. Except methanol, all other alcohols are weaker acid than water. The Ka value for water is 1.8 ×1016 where as for alcohols, the Ka value in the order 1018 to 1016.

Alcohols react with active metals such as sodium, aluminium etc… to form the corresponding alkoxides with the liberation of hydrogen gas and similar reaction to give alkoxide is not observed in the reaction of alcohol with NaOH.

2C2 H5 - OH + 2Na 2C2 H5ONa + H2

The above reaction explains the acidic nature of alcohols.

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12th Chemistry : UNIT 11 : Hydroxy Compounds and Ethers : Acidity of alcohols |


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