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A compound can be amphoteric if it can accept or donate a proton and it depends on what the compound is reacting with. For example a water molecule reacting with HCl acts as a bronstead base and accepts a proton. But, when water is reacting with NH3, it acts as a bronstead acid and donates a proton.
Amphoteric compounds are those that are able to either accept or donate a proton, depending on what other compounds they react with. For example, HCO3- can either accept a proton and become H2CO3 or donate a proton and become CO3 2-.
Sarah Zhari 1C wrote:How do some compounds have both basic and acidic character?
compounds can be both acidic and basic in character if they are able to increase the concentration of either H3O+ or OH- ions depending on the solution the compound is placed in
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