TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TURTLE ROCK SCIENTIFIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Potassium reacts with methanol. A small piece of potassium metal (K) is dropped into a test tube with methanol (CH3OH). The reaction proceeds very vigorously and produces bubbles of hydrogen gas (H2) and colourless potassium methoxide (CH3OK): CH3OH + K -> CH3OK + H2. The high rate of hydrogen bubble production keeps potassium fizzling on top of methanol surface. Other alkali metals react similarly with alcohols, producing hydrogen gas and respective alkoxides.
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