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Ions and Equilibrium;

Ions and Equilibrium;

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Published by: api-3710134 on Oct 15, 2008
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16. Ions and Equilibrium ;
Acids and Bases
-- Jump to --
I ntroduction
Acids are familiar to us because of their power as corrosive agents and
solvents, bringing into solution compounds that are insoluble in water alone
Strong acids will attack many metals, converting them to soluble ions and
liberating bubbles of hydrogen gas in the process.

Acids also will dissolve carbonates such as limestone, and certain other minerals and inorganic compounds. The weaker acids that are safe to taste, such as citric acid in lemons and acetic acid in vinegar, have a characteristic mouth puckering sharp taste that we immediately recognize and designate as "acid".

Bases also are useful for dissolving water-insoluble substances, especially oils, greases, and other organic compounds. Sodium hydroxide, for example, will attack the oils of the skin and turn them into soap, which is why solutions of household lye feel slippery to the touch.

We have seen previously that there are many substances, amphoteric oxides among them, that are insoluble in plain water but are dissolved either by an acid or a base, or both.

Page 01 of 47
Page 1 of 1
Foundations to Chemistry - adapted from "Chemistry, Matter and the Universe"
htt ://neon.chem.ox.ac.uk/vrchemistr /cha ter16/ a 01.htm
16. Ions and Equilibrium ;
Acids and Bases
-- Jump to --
I ntroduction
Besides their usefulness as solvents, acids and bases are important as

catalysts. Because of their small size, mobility, and charge, H+ and OH- ions from acids and bases can attack compounds in such a way as to make reactions occur more easily and faster. This is the key to their catalytic effectiveness.

If a substance provides a faster pathway for reaction but is regenerated again at the end of the process, it is a true catalyst. If catalysts are ions or molecules dissolved in the same solution as the reactants and products, they are known as homogeneous catalysts. This is the type of catalysis discussed in the postscript to this chapter.

In Chapter 15 we saw examples of heterogeneous catalysts, in which the catalyst is a separate phase - a surface to which the gaseous or dissolved reactants diffuse and from which the products separate.

In either type of catalysis the principle is the same: A catalyst is a substance that accelerates a thermodynamically spontaneous reaction by providing an alternate mechanism, without itself being consumed by the overall reaction. It can participate in several steps of the process, as long as it is regenerated at the end.

Acids and bases are widely used homogeneous catalysts.
Page 02 of 47
Page 1 of 1
Foundations to Chemistry - adapted from "Chemistry, Matter and the Universe"
htt ://neon.chem.ox.ac.uk/vrchemistr /cha ter16/Pa 02.htm
16. Ions and Equilibrium ;
Acids and Bases
-- Jump to --
Strong Acids and Bases

When salts dissolve in water the attractive forces within the ionic lattice are broken, and are replaced by attractive forces between individual ions and the polar water molecules that surround them in a hydration shell.

As we saw in Chapter 12, the heat of solution is the difference between hydration energy and crystal-lattice energy. In addition, the salt becomes more disordered when it dissolves, so the entropy increases. If the combination of entropy increase and heat of hydration is enough to overcome the crystal- lattice energy, the salt will dissolve.

We can write the overall process as

Salts such as NaCI are 100% ionized in the crystal and in aqueous solution. The symbol (aq) indicates that each ion is hydrated, or surrounded by a shell of polar water molecules in the manner that we saw first in Chapter 5, and in the drawing at the beginning of this chapter.

For the sake of brevity, we will not use the (aq) symbol in equations in this chapter, but you should remember that ions in aqueous solution always are hydrated, and that hydration energy is largely responsible for making the salt dissolve. If there were no hydration energy to balance the loss of energy from crystal attractions, then dissolving NaCI would be as difficult as vaporizing it, which can be accomplished only at temperatures above 1400'C.

Page 03 of 47
Page 1 of 1
Foundations to Chemistry - adapted from "Chemistry, Matter and the Universe"
htt ://neon.chem.ox.ac.uk/vrchemistr /cha ter16/Pa 03.htm

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