Is CH3OH an Acid or a Base?

Methanol is made up of the molecules CH3OH. If you compare it to water, which is neutral, it acts like a very weak acid. It is not for drinking because it is used in industry. If you drink methanol, you could go blind.

CH3OH has a pKa value of more than 15. This number tells how many acidic or basic ions are in a solution. The CH3 functional group is what gives methanol its weak acidity. When an OH group is present, it can cause it to give off OH negative ions in a water solution. Because of this, it acts like a base. So, CH3OH is an alcohol that can also be a little bit acidic or basic.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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