Homework problem 12.51 Relative Acidity

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Amanda Hagen 1L
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Homework problem 12.51 Relative Acidity

Postby Amanda Hagen 1L » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:24 pm

In homework problem 12.51, the book explains that HClO2 is a stronger acid than HClO because the oxidation state of Cl is higher in HClO2. How do we determine the oxidation states of Cl in these two molecules?

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Re: Homework problem 12.51 Relative Acidity

Postby Chem_Mod » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:05 am

Hi, Amanda,
So you know that the molecule is neutral. Also, hydrogen is almost always +1 (except for hydrides), while oxygen is almost always -2. Therefore for HClO, the oxidation state will be = 0-1-(-2) = +1. For HClO2 = 0-1-(2*(-2)) = +3. You can also decide which one is a stronger acid by the number of electronegative atoms it has, as they will pull the e density away from O-H bond. As two oxygens will pull the density more than one, HClO2 is a stronger acid.

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