In water, should we assume HSO4- acts as an acid or a base.

Moderators: Chem_Mod, Chem_Admin

Chem_Mod
Posts: 17702
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:53 pm
Has upvoted: 404 times

In water, should we assume HSO4- acts as an acid or a base.

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:48 am

In water, should we assume HSO4- acts as an acid or a base. Also for HCO3-?

Chem_Mod
Posts: 17702
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:53 pm
Has upvoted: 404 times

Re: In water, should we assume HSO4- acts as an acid or a ba

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:48 am

These compounds are amphiprotic, meaning that in water they can behave as both a proton donor or a proton acceptor (acid or a base). In general it is difficult to determine the pH of an amphiprotic compound (how to do that is discussed more in Section 10.15, which is not part of your assigned reading). You will usually see HSO4- behaving as an acid though, with the reasoning being that if it were to behave as a base, it would make H2SO4 and H2O. But if it makes the strong acid H2SO4, then that will just dissociate again into HSO4-.


Return to “Amphoteric Compounds”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest