HCO3- can act acid and base, how do you tell which it is

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HCO3- can act acid and base, how do you tell which it is

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:03 pm

It seems as if HCO3- can act as both a base and an acid. How do you tell which it is?

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Re: HCO3- can act acid and base, how do you tell which it i

Postby Chem_Mod » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:03 pm

HCO3- (known as bicarbonate) is the conjugate base of H2CO3, a weak acid, and the conjugate acid of the carbonate ion. HCO3- acts as a base when mixed with a compound that is more acidic than itself (larger Ka) and as an acid when mixed with a compound that is more basic than itself (smaller Ka).

Acidity (Ka) & Basicity (Kb) Constants and The Conjugate Seesaw (Ka x Kb = Kw)


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