Is alcohol acid or base?

According to Arrhenius theory,


Acid is a substance that gives H+ ion on dissolving in the aqueous solution. It increases the concentration of H+ ions in the solution.


The base is a substance that ionizes OH– ion by dissolving in the aqueous solution. The concentration of OH- ions is high in the solution.


By the Arrhenius definition of an acid and base, alcohol is neither acidic nor basic when dissolved in water, as it neither produces H+ nor OH- in solution. They are generally weak acids. Alcohols are very weak Brønsted acids with pKa values generally in the range of 15 – 20. Alcohol is amphoteric in nature i.e both acid and base. It gives H+ or OH- depending on attacking species.

  • Alcohols are organic compounds in which a hydrogen atom of an aliphatic carbon is replaced with a hydroxyl group.
  • Thus an alcohol molecule consists of two parts; one containing the alkyl group and the other containing functional group hydroxyl group. They have a sweet odour.
  • They exhibit a unique set of physical and chemical properties.

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