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IONIC EQUILIBRIA (AS

)
ACIDS AND BASES
 1. Types of acids and bases
 Classified according to degree of dissociation
or ionisation in water
 a. strong acids and bases :
 undergoes complete ionisation
 examples :
 strong acids: HCl(aq)  H+(aq) + Cl-(aq)
 H2SO4 , HNO3
 strong bases : NaOH , KOH
 b. Weak acids and bases :
 undergoes incomplete or partial
ionisation in water
 only a fraction of the molecules ionise
 most of it remains as molecules
examples
 Weak acids :
 CH3COOH  CH3COO- + H+
 H2CO3 , HNO2 , H2S

 Weak base : aqueous NH3
 NH3 + H2O  OH- + NH4+
 2. Neutralisation reactions of acids and
bases ,even weak acids / bases are
completely reacted
 Example :
 CH3COOH + NaOH  CH3COO-Na+ + H2O
 weak acid
 a. CH3COOH  CH3COO- + H+
 b. NaOH added will neutralise H+ ,
 [H+] decreases , equilibrium shifts right
 more CH3COOH will ionise and so
reaction will continue until all the acid
molecules have reacted
Note : similar for reactions involving weak
bases
 3. Strength of acids / bases vs concentration

 a. Strength : depends on degree of
dissociation or ionisation
 weak and strong
 b. Concentration : depends on amount of
solute present in a certain volume of the
solution ( usually in 1 dm3 )
 i) concentrated : contains many moles
of solute in 1 dm3 solution
 ii) dilute : contains a few moles of solute
in 1 dm3 solution
c. There may be concentrated solution of a
weak acid or dilute solution of a strong
base etc
4.Definitions of acids and bases
 a. Arrhenius definition :
 Acids are substances that produces H+ ions
in water
 Bases are substances that produces OH-
ions in water
 b. Bronsted Lowry definition :
 i) Acids are proton (H+) donors
 ii) Bases are proton acceptors
 iii) When an acid loses its H+ , it forms a base
(conjugate base)

 When a base accepts a H+ , it forms an acid (
conjugate acid )
 Eg : Acid  base + H+
 HCl  H+ + Cl-
 acid base

- H+
 H2O + H+  H3O+
base acid

+ H+
 5. An acid base reaction is a dynamic
equilibrium between 2 conjugate acid-
base pairs
+ H+

 Acid 1 + Base 2  Base 1 + Acid 2

- H+

Acids 1 and acid 2 are usually of different strength
 Eg :
- H+

 HCl + H2O  Cl- + H3 O+
 acid base base acid

+ H+
Exercise
 Identify the acids and bases present in the
following reactions :
 1. HCl + NH3  Cl- + NH4+
 acid base base acid

 2. HSO4- + H2O  H3O+ + SO42-
 acid base acid base
 3. CH3COO- + H2O  CH3COOH + OH-
 base acid acid base

 4. H2O + CO32-  OH- + HCO3-
 acid base base acid

 5. HSO4- + H3O+  H2SO4 + H2O
 base acid acid base
 Note :
 H2O and HSO4- are amphoteric species
 6. Kc values can be used to compare the
strength of the 2 acids or bases present in the
equilibrium
• Eg : A + BH+  AH+ + B
 base acid acid base
 a. If Kc is large :
 Position of equilibrium lies to the right
 More products , more A and BH+ reacted
 BH+ stronger acid / A is stronger base
 b. If Kc is small ,
 Position of equilibrium lies to the left
 More AH+ and B reacted
 AH+ is stronger acid / B is stronger base
 Note:
 In an equilibrium mixture containing 2
acids and bases,
 a. the stronger acid and base will react
more
 b. the strength can be determined based
on the position of equilibrium ( Kc value )
Past year Q (June 97/1/3)
 a. What do you understand by the Bronsted
Lowry definitions of acids and bases?
 b.For each of the reactions C and D,
 i) identify the two acids and two bases present
 ii) suggest , with reasons , which one ion or
molecule is the stronger acid , and which the
stronger base
 C: NH3 + H2O  NH4+ + OH-
Kc = 1.8 x 10-5 mol dm-3

 D: C6H5O- + CH3COOH  C6H5OH +
CH3COO-
Kc = 1.3 x 106 mol dm-3