Mixing up Lewis and Bronsted

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madisondesilva1c
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Mixing up Lewis and Bronsted

Postby madisondesilva1c » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:26 pm

During lecture, Professor Lavelle began to what makes a Lewis base different than a Bronsted base and mentioned that Lewis bases are more general. What does general mean in this case?

Andrea Zheng 1H
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Re: Mixing up Lewis and Bronsted

Postby Andrea Zheng 1H » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:40 pm

I posted this on another question, I hope this helps!

Bronsted looks at protons, while Lewis looks at electron pairs.

A Bronsted acid is something that is a proton donor, while a Bronsted base is a proton acceptor.
A Lewis acid is an electron acceptor, while a lewis base is an electron donor.

see this link for examples: http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/t/h/the1/acidbase.htm

Rebecca Altshuler 1D
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Mixing up Lewis and Bronsted

Postby Rebecca Altshuler 1D » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:45 pm

When he said general, he meant that all substances can be categorized as a Lewis acid or base based on whether they donate or accept electrons in a reaction. The Bronsted definition of acids and bases is much narrower because it only looks at substances that donate or accept protons, so many substances are neither acids nor bases according to the Bronsted definition.

Jovian Cheung 1K
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Re: Mixing up Lewis and Bronsted

Postby Jovian Cheung 1K » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:34 pm

Note that protons are equivalent as H+ ions!
The Bronsted Lowry definition is more restrictive as it specifies the exchange of hydrogen ions.
The Lewis definition, on the other hand, is more general because it doesn’t specify the substance and only specifies that there needs to be an electron pair exchange; a lot of substances can undergo electron pair exchanges.


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