How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

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Adams Dis 1A
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:23 am

How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

Postby Adams Dis 1A » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:47 pm

I was wondering if there was a way to tell if a certain chemical will turn into an acid or base without some other information?
Like in question 6b.5, how would I know what HBr, HNO3, or HClO would be?

Jonas Talandis
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Re: How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

Postby Jonas Talandis » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:01 pm

Consider what would likely happen in a reaction with water. Does the H atom have anywhere to be accepted? Or will it dissociate. Many times molecules are amphoteric and can do both but a lot of it will be memorization and understanding of where a proton can go. One big indicator for bases that Dr. Lavelle loves is if a molecule has a nitrogen with a lone pair it is almost always a base since it can accept an H very easily.

Katelyn Pham 4E
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:21 am

Re: How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

Postby Katelyn Pham 4E » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:32 pm

There is also a list of strong acids and bases. Here is a quizlet link of the top 6 strong acids and bases!

https://quizlet.com/41246443/6-strong-a ... ash-cards/

LeannaPhan14BDis1D
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Re: How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

Postby LeannaPhan14BDis1D » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:44 pm

For the most part you will kinda just have to memorize whether or not it is a base or an acid

Amar Singh
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:20 am

Re: How to tell if a chemical is an acid or base?

Postby Amar Singh » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:26 pm

First of all you need to define the type of acid/base you want to check. There are 3 main types: arrhenius, bronsted-lowry, and lewis.

ARRHENIUS ACIDS will donate a H+ ion when dissolved in water
ARRHENIUS BASES will donate a OH- ion when dissolved in water

BRONSTED-LOWRY ACIDS will donate a H+ ion in a solution (difference between arrhenius is that the solution doesn't have to be water)
BRONSTED-LOWRY BASES will accept a H+ ion in a solution

LEWIS ACIDS accept electron pairs
LEWIS BASES donate electron pairs

The most common definition used for acids/bases is the bronsted-lowry definition, but that can change for different circumstances.


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