Although the molecular formula of ethanol (C2H5OH) shows the presence of an OH-group (hydroxyl group) in the molecule, it does not indicate any basic characteristics for alcohols. Instead, ethanol may act as a weak acid.
Sodium reacts with ethanol less vigorously than with, for instance, water. From the surface of sodium, hydrogen bubbles were released:
2Na(s) + 2C2H5OH(l) → 2C2H5ONa(eth) + H2(g)
Ethanol is also used in laboratories for removing or deactivating sodium residues.