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How is it possible to tell whether an oxide is acidic, basic, or amphoteric? For example, the oxides BaO, SO3, As2O3, and BiO3 are questioned in homework problem 12.17. Do you have to write out the lewis structure to see what e- pairs are available to be donated or accepted?
Nonmetal oxides are acidic, metal oxides are basic, and I'm not 100% sure, but I think that metalloid oxides (or metal oxides close to the metalloid line) are amphoteric. However, the reactions for amphoteric oxides could be written out in order to determine its character.
A general guideline to determine if an oxide is acidic, basic, or amphoteric is to use the periodic table. Typically, metals such as Ba form basic oxides (BaO), while nonmetals such as S form acidic oxides (SO3). The elements in and around the diagonal line of metalloids do tend to form amphoteric oxides (As2O3 and BiO3). This method is a lot easier than trying to draw out each Lewis structure. Also, section 12.3 in the chemistry textbook goes into more detail about this topic which might be helpful.
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