How do chemists make alkoxide from alcohol?

1 Answer
Mar 22, 2016

Conveniently by addition of the alkali metal to the alcohol.


For both methanol and ethanol, lithium and sodium can be added to the alcohol, to give hydrogen gas and alcoholic metal alkoxide. Potassium, may be safely added to solutions (approx. 25% IPA) in toluene. (You do not add potassium to NEAT alcohol.)

The rxn is precisely analogous to the reaction of the alkali metal with water:

#M(s) + HOR rarr M^(+)""^(-)OR +1/2H_2(g)uarr#