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Chemistry LibreTexts

5: Acids and Bases

  • Page ID
    • 5.1: Acids Nomenclature
      An acid can be defined in several ways. The most straightforward definition is that an acid is a molecular compound that contains one or more hydrogen atoms and produces hydrogen ions when dissolved in water.
    • 5.2: Hydronium Ions
      We can't detect it with the naked eye, but even pure water is not technically pure. Water ionizes a very small percent to form Hydrogen and Hydroxide ions. Read on to learn more about the ionization of water.
    • 5.3: Strong Acids and Bases
      Acids and bases can be strong or weak. This section gives a list of strong acids and bases and gives us insight into why a strong acid or base is strong.
    • 5.4: Weak Acids
      Weak acids can be sorted into a few categories which allow for quick identification. This section details these categories and how they are defined.
    • 5.5: Weak Bases
      Like weak acids, weak bases can be categorized for easy identification. This section details the characteristics of these categories to allow for identification of weak bases.
    • 5.6: Brønsted-Lowry Definition of Acids and Bases
      A Brønsted-Lowry acid is a proton donor, and a Brønsted-Lowry base is a proton acceptor. Brønsted-Lowry acid-base reactions are essentially proton transfer reactions.
    • 5.7: Acid Strength and the Acid Dissociation Constant (Ka)
      Acid–base reactions always contain two conjugate acid–base pairs. Each acid and each base has an associated ionization constant that corresponds to its acid or base strength. Two species that differ by only a proton constitute a conjugate acid–base pair. The magnitude of the equilibrium constant for an ionization reaction can be used to determine the relative strengths of acids and bases.
    • 5.8: Autoionization of Water
      Water is an interesting compound in many respects. Here, we will consider its ability to behave as an acid or a base. In some circumstances, a water molecule will accept a proton and thus act as a Brønsted-Lowry base.
    • 5.9: The pH and pOH Scales
      pH and pOH are defined as the negative log of hydronium ion concentration and hydroxide concentration, respectively. pOH is related to pH and can be easily calculated from pH.
    • 5.10: Buffers
      Buffers allow chemists to maintain a specific pH range for a reaction. Buffers utilize conjugate acid-base pairs to function. Read on to learn more about the specifics and calculations of buffers.
    • 5.11: Neutralization Reactions
      The Arrhenius definition of an acid is a substance that increases the amount of H+ in an aqueous solution. The Arrhenius definition of a base is a substance that increases the amount of OH- in an aqueous solution. Neutralization is the reaction of an acid and a base, which forms water and a salt. Net ionic equations for neutralization reactions may include solid acids, solid bases, solid salts, and water.

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