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.