Dehydration reaction involving ethanol will produce ....

(The case of ethanol being heated to upwards of 170 degrees celsius while being mixed with sulphuric acid.) 

The oxygen atom has a lone pair of electrons, and the sulphate has a somewhat unstable hydrogen atom.  The Hydrogen from sulphate attaches to these spare electrons. This alcohol is then said to be protonated. 

The alcohol group OH now gaining another H

OH + H

= H20


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