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When is does a compound act as an acid or base?

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:38 pm
by Ryan Fang 1D
For example, how would we know if HCO3- loses its H+ proton in water or gains an H+ proton?

Re: When is does a compound act as an acid or base?

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:02 pm
by Eli Aminpour 2K
H2CO3 is the formula for carbonic acid. It's Ka is higher than 10^-7 so it will act as an acid in water. Its conjugate base is HCO3-, which acts as a base in water. If your not sure whether or not a compound will act as a base or acid, check its Ka/Kb values or determine whether its the conjugate base or acid of well known acids and bases.