# Chemistry - Can Ethanol be used to carry out SN1 reaction?

Be careful! Ethanol is not a strong acid ($$\mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a} \approx 16$$). So its conversion to ethoxide anion is not so easy. Rather, it would attack the $$\ce{C}$$ center by its lone pair and then it would release proton to form the product.

Actually here what I think is, the hetero atom $$\ce{O}$$ just near to the $$\ce{C}$$ undergoing substitution will assist by its lone pair to kick out chloride and then being planar ethanol can attack from either side. And finally, you get the product of $$\mathrm{S_N1}$$ type.

But don't mess up between ethanol and ethoxide ion. They are totally different in nucleophilicity. Treat them as two different nucleophiles.