Reaction of Alcohols with Sodium

Reaction of Water with Sodium

2Na + 2H2O → 2NaOH + H2

  1. We have learned the reaction of group 1 metals with cold water in Form 4 chapter 4, Periodic Table.
  2. The reaction of alcohol with sodium is similar to this reaction.
  3. If a small piece of sodium is dropped into some ethanol, it reacts steadily to give off bubbles of hydrogen gas and leaves a colourless solution of sodium ethoxide, CH3CH2ONa.
    Sodium ethoxide is known as an alkoxide.
  4. In the reaction, sodium reacts with the -OH group of alcohol, produces sodium alkoxide and hydrogen gas.

Methanol and Sodium

2CH3OH + 2Na → 2CH3ONa + H2

Ethanol and Sodium

2C2H5OH + 2Na → 2C2H5ONa + H2


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