# Why can ethanol be considered both a Lewis acid and a Lewis base?

Apr 9, 2018

because, like water, it can both accept and donate lone electron pairs

#### Explanation:

Ethanol acting as Lewis acid :accepting electron pair

$C {H}_{3} C {H}_{2} O H$ +$B {:}^{-}$ $\to$ $C {H}_{3} C {H}_{2} {O}^{-}$+ $B H$

in this case the hydroxyl proton receives the electron pair from a strong base, producing the ethylate anion.

Ethanol acting as Lewis base: donating electron pair

$C {H}_{3} C {H}_{2} O H$ + ${H}^{+}$ $\to$ $C {H}_{3} C {H}_{2} O {H}_{2}^{+}$

in this case the hydroxyl oxigen gives an electron pair to a strong acid, producing a protonated alcohol