Conjugate Acids and Bases

Science questions not covered in Chem 14A and 14B. Try to limit questions to chemistry (inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biophysical chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, environmental chemistry).

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Mrudula Akkinepally
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:31 pm

Conjugate Acids and Bases

Postby Mrudula Akkinepally » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:03 pm

Hello everyone!

I know this might sound stupid but what's the point of conjugate acids and bases? Like I know it's just the terminology, but why does it have a name? Do they serve a purpose aside from being a base's/acid's counterpart in a reaction?

Please let me know!

Thank you :)

Emily Vu 1L
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:40 pm
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Re: Conjugate Acids and Bases

Postby Emily Vu 1L » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:12 pm

hi! no stupid questions >:(

so from what i've seen so far, we're going to need to know whether conjugate bases/acids are strong or weak when we evaluate if a salt acts as an acid/base. we touched briefly on this in chem 14a but when i was doing the sapling for week 2, this comes up again.

essentially, if we know that in an ionic compound, the cation is the conjugate acid of a weak base, and the anion is the conjugate base of a strong acid, then we can conclude the salt is acidic. that kind of thing! hope this helps!

Kylie Joe 2A
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:22 am

Re: Conjugate Acids and Bases

Postby Kylie Joe 2A » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:27 am

Hi! I think something that's also important to note about conjugate acids and bases are the way their strength relates to one another in a reaction. A stronger acid will naturally have a weaker base and vice versa, which I believe comes up when we consider H3O+ and OH- concentrations in a reaction.

David Jen 1J
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:33 pm

Re: Conjugate Acids and Bases

Postby David Jen 1J » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:49 am

I think it highlights the reversible action of a acid base reaction. In cases where the acid/base aren't strong, the conjugates could potentially play a role in regulating environments (pH), such as bicarbonate in the ocean and our blood.

Akemi Karamitsos 1E
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:17 am

Re: Conjugate Acids and Bases

Postby Akemi Karamitsos 1E » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:30 pm

How would we determine if something is neutral given its conjugate? I'm pretty sure it has something to do with salts, but I'm still confused.


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