how to determine if something is an acid or base

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905084274
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:22 am

how to determine if something is an acid or base

Postby 905084274 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:59 pm

How can you easily identify is something is going to work as an acid or a base in an aqueous solution. For example, in hw 12.55 6th edition, CH3COOH serves as an acid, but it has an OH group, so I would think it would work as a base....Will it be more clear to identify on the test?

Adam Vuilleumier 2K
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: how to determine if something is an acid or base

Postby Adam Vuilleumier 2K » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:37 pm

A good way to tell if something is an acid or base (if you're not familiar with the molecule already) is to draw a Lewis structure. Then, you can see if there is a free hydrogen that can be donated, or a free lone pair that can take up a hydrogen.

Elizabeth Gallmeister 1A
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:21 am

Re: how to determine if something is an acid or base

Postby Elizabeth Gallmeister 1A » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:11 pm

Another way to figure it out is to see what the problem gives you, or other information that you can get from supplemental tables etc. You're usually given either a pH that implies that it's a base or acid, or there will be a given Ka or Kb which will also show you which it is.

Ray Guo 4C
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: how to determine if something is an acid or base

Postby Ray Guo 4C » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:15 pm

A base tends to take on a proton, so having an OH group does not make it a base. You can try to memorize the names and formulae of common acids and bases. They are listed somewhere in the Fundamentals part of the book if you are using the 7th edition.

yuetao4k
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Re: how to determine if something is an acid or base

Postby yuetao4k » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:52 pm

There is a list of common acids/bases that you could take a look at which could help you determine if a compound is an acid or base. You can also look at the pH if it is given, and that is a clear indicator of which one it is.


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