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Chemistry 5

Reactions in Aqueous Solutions


30 September 2002
Recognizing Acids & Bases
ƒ Key Feature of Acids:
• contain ionizable hydrogen

• not all molecules with hydrogen are acids


ƒ Key Features of Bases:

• contain either ionizable OH group or element
(e.g., N) that can accept a proton (H+)

• not all molecules with OH are bases

Additional A-B Reactions
ƒ Acid-base reactions can occur between an
insoluble base and soluble acid:
• a number of metal hydroxides have limited
solubility in water, yet they react readily with


ƒ Antacids
• Alka-Seltzer, NaHCO3

• Milk of magnesia, Mg(OH)2

• Maalox, Mg(OH)2 + Al(OH)3

• Tums, CaCO3
Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
ƒ Oxidation-reduction or redox reactions are
common to all facets of chemistry and
biology. For example:

ƒ In any redox reaction, there is always one

species oxidized and one species reduced;
cannot have one without other!

ƒ This concept of coupled oxidation and

reduction of species in a redox reaction can
be seen by assigning oxidation states to
reactants and products.
• Ca(s) + 2H+(aq) Æ Ca2+(aq) + H2(g)

• MnO4-(aq) + C2O42-(aq) Æ Mn2+(aq) + CO2(g)

Redox Half-Reactions
ƒ The concept of coupled oxidation and
reduction of species in redox reactions can
also be seen by separating the reactions
involving oxidation and reduction from
each other–
• write two half-reactions, where one involves
oxidation of a reactant and the other involves
reduction of another reactant.
• the sum of the half-reactions is the equal to the
overall reaction.
ƒ Redox Half-Reactions
• Zn(s) + Cu2+(aq) Æ Zn2+(aq) + Cu(s)

• Cu(s) + Ag+(aq) Æ Cu2+(aq) + Ag(s)

Some Trends in Redox Reactions
ƒ Reactions of metals in acidic solution
React to yield hydrogen gas:
• alkali metals (group-I)
• alkaline earth metals (group-II)
• Al, Zn, Fe, Sn, Pb
No Reaction:
• Cu, Ag, Au, Hg
ƒ Implications?
Balancing Redox Reactions
ƒ Chemical reactions must conserve mass.
ƒ In redox reactions, must also balance the
loss (oxidation) and gain (reduction) of
ƒ Redox reactions can be balanced by the
following general approach:
• write down two half-reactions: (1) reactant is
oxidized and (2) other reactant is reduced.
• use integer coefficients to balance numbers of all
elements except “O” and “H”.
• in acidic solution add H2O to balance oxygen in
• In acidic solution, add “H+ to balance hydrogen
from water.
• add electrons (e-) to balance charge.
• use integer multipliers to make the number of
electrons produced (oxidation) and used
(reduction) the same.
• add the two half reactions; cancel e- (and other
species as appropriate).
Balancing Redox
Reactions: Example
ƒ Consider the following chemical reaction in
acidic aqueous solution:
Pb + PbO2 + SO42- PbSO4
Identify the oxidation/reduction half-reactions,
and balance the overall reaction.