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KMcFarland_1E wrote:When given a molecular formula of a compound, how do you identify if it is an amphoteric compound?
A compound is amphoteric if it can acts as a base or an acid. For example, water. There are a few oxides that are amphoteric compound. I'm not sure if there is a way that we can instantly determine if a compound is amphoteric by just looking at it.
One thing you can do for protic compounds is to see if the compound can donate & accept a proton. E.g. H2O & HCO3- can both donate & accept a proton, so they're amphoteric (they're specifically amphiprotic but all amphiprotic compounds are amphoteric).
A commonly-known amphoteric compound is water, so that might be one chemical formula you could look at and instantly know it was amphoteric. Other than that, though, you would have to see how the compound acted in a chemical equation and see if it could both donate and receive a proton in a reaction.
In the textbook, it mentioned that many amphoteric compounds consist of the elements that lie on the diagonal border between the metals and nonmetals. It also gave a nice visual of this section of the periodic table. This helped me a lot, so I think it would be worth looking at too!
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