Alcohols are weak acids, and the conjugate base of an alcohol, alkoxide anions, are strong bases. Alkoxide is a stronger base than than hydroxyl. Ka = 10-16 for a primary alcohol and 10-18 for a tertiary alcohol. Because the Ka of typical alcohols is somewhat low for alkoxide anions to be easily formed by reaction with a strong base, alkoxide bases are usually formed by reaction of the alcohol with a group I metal (sodium or potassium). Alkoxide anions may be employed as nucleophiles in reactions such as nucleophilic substitution (to form ethers, i.e. Williamson Ether Synthesis), epoxide ring opening, or hemiacetal formation (under basic conditions not proceeding to complete acetal formation).












The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum. Please read our policies on Privacy and Shipping & Returns.  Contact Us. MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which does not endorse the WikiPremed Course. WikiPremed offers the customers of our publications or our teaching services no guarantees regarding eventual performance on the MCAT.


Creative Commons License
WikiPremed is a trademark of Wisebridge Learning Systems LLC. The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike License. There are elements of work here, such as a subset of the images in the archive from WikiPedia, that originated as GNU General Public License works, so take care to follow the unique stipulations of that license in printed reproductions.