Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

5: Acids and Bases

  • Page ID
    440704
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    • 5.1: Acids and Bases - A Brief Review
      In chemistry, acids and bases have been defined differently by three sets of theories: One is the Arrhenius definition defined above, which revolves around the idea that acids are substances that ionize (break off) in an aqueous solution to produce hydrogen (H+) ions while bases produce hydroxide (OH-) ions in solution. The other two definitions are discussed in detail alter in the chapter and include the Brønsted-Lowry definition and the Lewis theory.
    • 5.2: Brønsted–Lowry Acids and Bases
      A compound that can donate a proton (a hydrogen ion) to another compound is called a Brønsted-Lowry acid. The compound that accepts the proton is called a Brønsted-Lowry base. The species remaining after a Brønsted-Lowry acid has lost a proton is the conjugate base of the acid. The species formed when a Brønsted-Lowry base gains a proton is the conjugate acid of the base. Thus, an acid-base reaction occurs when a proton is transferred from an acid to a base.
    • 5.3: Lewis Acids and Bases
      Lewis proposed that the electron pair is the dominant actor in acid-base chemistry. An Lewis acid is a substance that accepts a pair of electrons, and in doing so, forms a covalent bond with the entity that supplies the electrons. A Lewis base is a substance that donates an unshared pair of electrons to a recipient species with which the electrons can be shared. Lewis acis/base theory is a powerful tool for describing many chemical reactions used in organic and inorganic chemistry.
    • 5.4: The Autoionization of Water
      Water is amphiprotic: it can act as an acid by donating a proton to a base to form the hydroxide ion, or as a base by accepting a proton from an acid to form the hydronium ion (\(H_3O^+\)). The autoionization of liquid water produces \(OH^−\) and \(H_3O^+\) ions. The equilibrium constant for this reaction is called the ion-product constant of liquid water (Kw) and is defined as \(K_w = [H_3O^+][OH^−]\). At 25°C, \(K_w\) is \(1.01 \times 10^{−14}\); hence \(pH + pOH = pK_w = 14.00\).
    • 5.5: The pH Scale
      The concentration of hydronium ion in a solution of an acid in water is greater than \( 1.0 \times 10^{-7}\; M\) at 25 °C. The concentration of hydroxide ion in a solution of a base in water is greater than \( 1.0 \times 10^{-7}\; M\) at 25 °C. The concentration of H3O+ in a solution can be expressed as the pH of the solution; \(\ce{pH} = -\log \ce{H3O+}\). The concentration of OH− can be expressed as the pOH of the solution: \(\ce{pOH} = -\log[\ce{OH-}]\). In pure water, pH = 7 and pOH = 7.
    • 5.6: Strong Acids and Bases
      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.
    • 5.7: Weak Acids
      The strengths of Brønsted-Lowry acids and bases in aqueous solutions can be determined by their acid or base ionization constants. Stronger acids form weaker conjugate bases, and weaker acids form stronger conjugate bases. Thus strong acids are completely ionized in aqueous solution because their conjugate bases are weaker bases than water. Weak acids are only partially ionized because their conjugate bases are strong enough to compete successfully with water for possession of protons.
    • 5.8: Ionization Constants of Weak Acids
    • 5.9: Weak Bases
      The pH of a solution of a weak base can be calculated in a way which is very similar to that used for a weak acid. Instead of an acid constant Ka, a base constant Kb must be used.
    • 5.10: Ionization Constants of Weak Bases
    • 5.11: Relationship Between Ka and Kb
    • 5.12: Acid-Base Properties of Salt Solutions
      A salt can dissolve in water to produce a neutral, a basic, or an acidic solution, depending on whether it contains the conjugate base of a weak acid as the anion ( A−A− ), the conjugate acid of a weak base as the cation ( BH+ ), or both. Salts that contain small, highly charged metal ions produce acidic solutions in water. The reaction of a salt with water to produce an acidic or a basic solution is called a hydrolysis reaction.
    • 5.13: The Common-Ion Effect
      The common-ion effect is used to describe the effect on an equilibrium involving a substance that adds an ion that is a part of the equilibrium.
    • 5.14: Buffered Solutions
      Buffers are solutions that resist a change in pH after adding an acid or a base. Buffers contain a weak acid (\(HA\)) and its conjugate weak base (\(A^−\)). Adding a strong electrolyte that contains one ion in common with a reaction system that is at equilibrium shifts the equilibrium in such a way as to reduce the concentration of the common ion. Buffers are characterized by their pH range and buffer capacity.
    • 5.15: Acid-Base Titrations
      The shape of a titration curve, a plot of pH versus the amount of acid or base added, provides important information about what is occurring in solution during a titration. The shapes of titration curves for weak acids and bases depend dramatically on the identity of the compound. The equivalence point of an acid–base titration is the point at which exactly enough acid or base has been added to react completely with the other component.


    5: Acids and Bases is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?