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The diagram shows two horizontal bars. The first, labeled, “Relative acid strength,” at the top is red on the left and gradually changes to purple on the right. The red end at the left is labeled, “Stronger acids.” The purple end at the right is labeled, “Weaker acids.” Just outside the bar to the lower left is the label, “K subscript a.” The bar is marked off in increments with a specific acid listed above each increment. The first mark is at 1.0 with H subscript 3 O superscript positive sign. The second is ten raised to the negative two with H C l O subscript 2. The third is ten raised to the negative 4 with H F. The fourth is ten raised to the negative 6 with H subscript 2 C O subscript 3. The fifth is ten raised to a negative 8 with C H subscript 3 C O O H. The sixth is ten raised to the negative ten with N H subscript 4 superscript positive sign. The seventh is ten raised to a negative 12 with H P O subscript 4 superscript 2 negative sign. The eighth is ten raised to the negative 14 with H subscript 2 O. Similarly the second bar, which is labeled “Relative conjugate base strength,” is purple at the left end and gradually becomes blue at the right end. Outside the bar to the left is the label, “Weaker bases.” Outside the bar to the right is the label, “Stronger bases.” Below and to the left of the bar is the label, “K subscript b.” The bar is similarly marked at increments with bases listed above each increment. The first is at ten raised to the negative 14 with H subscript 2 O above it. The second is ten raised to the negative 12 C l O subscript 2 superscript negative sign. The third is ten raised to the negative ten with F superscript negative sign. The fourth is ten raised to a negative eight with H C O subscript 3 superscript negative sign. The fifth is ten raised to the negative 6 with C H subscript 3 C O O superscript negative sign. The sixth is ten raised to the negative 4 with N H subscript 3. The seventh is ten raised to the negative 2 with P O subscript 4 superscript three negative sign. The eighth is 1.0 with O H superscript negative sign.
This diagram shows the relative strengths of conjugate acid-base pairs, as indicated by their ionization constants in aqueous solution.

[link] lists a series of acids and bases in order of the decreasing strengths of the acids and the corresponding increasing strengths of the bases. The acid and base in a given row are conjugate to each other.

This figure includes a table separated into a left half which is labeled “Acids” and a right half labeled “Bases.” A red arrow points up the left side, which is labeled “Increasing acid strength.” Similarly, a blue arrow points downward along the right side, which is labeled “Increasing base strength.” Names of acids and bases are listed next to each arrow toward the center of the table, followed by chemical formulas. Acids listed top to bottom are sulfuric acid, H subscript 2 S O subscript 4, hydrogen iodide, H I, hydrogen bromide, H B r, hydrogen chloride, H C l, nitric acid, H N O subscript 3, hydronium ion ( in pink text) H subscript 3 O superscript plus, hydrogen sulfate ion, H S O subscript 4 superscript negative, phosphoric acid, H subscript 3 P O subscript 4, hydrogen fluoride, H F, nitrous acid, H N O subscript 2, acetic acid, C H subscript 3 C O subscript 2 H, carbonic acid H subscript 2 C O subscript 3, hydrogen sulfide, H subscript 2 S, ammonium ion, N H subscript 4 superscript +, hydrogen cyanide, H C N, hydrogen carbonate ion, H C O subscript 3 superscript negative, water (shaded in beige) H subscript 2 O, hydrogen sulfide ion, H S superscript negative, ethanol, C subscript 2 H subscript 5 O H, ammonia, N H subscript 3, hydrogen, H subscript 2, methane, and C H subscript 4. The acids at the top of the listing from sulfuric acid through nitric acid are grouped with a bracket to the right labeled “Undergo complete acid ionization in water.” Similarly, the acids at the bottom from hydrogen sulfide ion through methane are grouped with a bracket and labeled, “Do not undergo acid ionization in water.” The right half of the figure lists bases and formulas. From top to bottom the bases listed are hydrogen sulfate ion, H S O subscript 4 superscript negative, iodide ion, I superscript negative, bromide ion, B r superscript negative, chloride ion, C l superscript negative, nitrate ion, N O subscript 3 superscript negative, water (shaded in beige), H subscript 2 O, sulfate ion, S O subscript 4 superscript 2 negative, dihydrogen phosphate ion, H subscript 2 P O subscript 4 superscript negative, fluoride ion, F superscript negative, nitrite ion, N O subscript 2 superscript negative, acetate ion, C H subscript 3 C O subscript 2 superscript negative, hydrogen carbonate ion, H C O subscript 3 superscript negative, hydrogen sulfide ion, H S superscript negative, ammonia, N H subscript 3, cyanide ion, C N superscript negative, carbonate ion, C O subscript 3 superscript 2 negative, hydroxide ion (in blue), O H superscript negative, sulfide ion, S superscript 2 negative, ethoxide ion, C subscript 2 H subscript 5 O superscript negative, amide ion N H subscript 2 superscript negative, hydride ion, H superscript negative, and methide ion C H subscript 3 superscript negative. The bases at the top, from perchlorate ion through nitrate ion are group with a bracket which is labeled “Do not undergo base ionization in water.” Similarly, the lower 5 in the listing, from sulfide ion through methide ion are grouped and labeled “Undergo complete base ionization in water.”
The chart shows the relative strengths of conjugate acid-base pairs.

The first six acids in [link] are the most common strong acids. These acids are completely dissociated in aqueous solution. The conjugate bases of these acids are weaker bases than water. When one of these acids dissolves in water, their protons are completely transferred to water, the stronger base.

Those acids that lie between the hydronium ion and water in [link] form conjugate bases that can compete with water for possession of a proton. Both hydronium ions and nonionized acid molecules are present in equilibrium in a solution of one of these acids. Compounds that are weaker acids than water (those found below water in the column of acids) in [link] exhibit no observable acidic behavior when dissolved in water. Their conjugate bases are stronger than the hydroxide ion, and if any conjugate base were formed, it would react with water to re-form the acid.

The extent to which a base forms hydroxide ion in aqueous solution depends on the strength of the base relative to that of the hydroxide ion, as shown in the last column in [link] . A strong base, such as one of those lying below hydroxide ion, accepts protons from water to yield 100% of the conjugate acid and hydroxide ion. Those bases lying between water and hydroxide ion accept protons from water, but a mixture of the hydroxide ion and the base results. Bases that are weaker than water (those that lie above water in the column of bases) show no observable basic behavior in aqueous solution.

The product K a × K b = K w

Use the K b for the nitrite ion, NO 2 , to calculate the K a for its conjugate acid.

Solution

K b for NO 2 is given in this section as 2.17 × 10 −11 . The conjugate acid of NO 2 is HNO 2 ; K a for HNO 2 can be calculated using the relationship:

K a × K b = 1.0 × 10 −14 = K w

Solving for K a , we get:

K a = K w K b = 1.0 × 10 −14 2.17 × 10 −11 = 4.6 × 10 −4

This answer can be verified by finding the K a for HNO 2 in Appendix H .

Check your learning

We can determine the relative acid strengths of NH 4 + and HCN by comparing their ionization constants. The ionization constant of HCN is given in Appendix H as 4.9 × 10 −10 . The ionization constant of NH 4 + is not listed, but the ionization constant of its conjugate base, NH 3 , is listed as 1.8 × 10 −5 . Determine the ionization constant of NH 4 + , and decide which is the stronger acid, HCN or NH 4 + .

Answer:

NH 4 + is the slightly stronger acid ( K a for NH 4 + = 5.6 × 10 −10 ).

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

The ionization of weak acids and weak bases

Many acids and bases are weak; that is, they do not ionize fully in aqueous solution. A solution of a weak acid in water is a mixture of the nonionized acid, hydronium ion, and the conjugate base of the acid, with the nonionized acid present in the greatest concentration. Thus, a weak acid increases the hydronium ion concentration in an aqueous solution (but not as much as the same amount of a strong acid).

Questions & Answers

who are the alchemist?
Victor Reply
alchemy science of transmutation. typically it is aim at tranforming lead to or other base metals to gold and the creation of the philosophers stone which in reality isn't a stone it's something priceless something we all need for coming times. don't be fooled
Kendrick
read Corinthians 5 verses 50 to the end of the chapter then read revelations chapter 2 verse 17
Kendrick
The word "Alchemy" comes from the forgotten name for Ancient Egypt, Khemmet. Khem was the name for the Egyptian Empire, but the actual land of Egypt was called Khemmet because the "T" on the end of a word denoted a physical location on Earth and not just an idea.
Michael
Wow!
mendie
What's the mass number of carbon
Charlie Reply
first Faraday's law
Akinbola
mass number of carbon is 12.
Nnenna
wat d atomic number of oxygen
safiya
atomic number of oxygen is 8
Nnenna
which quantum number divides shell into orbitals?
Tomiwa Reply
azimuthal
Emmanuel
hi
Charlie
azimuthal
reinhard
azimuthal
Charlie
what is atom
Desmond Reply
an atom is a smallest indivisible part of an element
Henry
an atom is the smallest part of an element that takes part in a chemical reaction
Nana
wat is neutralization
Dubem Reply
when any acid reacts with base to decrease it's acidity or vice-versa to form salt and solvent.. which is called neutralization
Santosh
explain buffer
Organic
buffer is a solution which resists changes in pH when acid or alkali added to it..
Santosh
hello, who is online
UTHMAN
buffer is the solution which resist the change in pH by addition of small amount of acid or alkali to it
KAUSIK
neutralisation is the process of mixing of a acid and a base to form water and corresponding salt
KAUSIK
how to solve equation on this
Princewill Reply
what are the elent of ionic and covalent bonding
Princewill
what is gases
Wesike Reply
Its one of the fundamental sate of matter alone side with liquid, solid and plasma
John
What is chemical bonding
John
To my own definitions. It's a unit of measurement to express the amount of a chemical substance.
Ozoaniehe Reply
What is mole
TAMIL Reply
It's the unit of measurements used to express the amount of chemical substance.
Ozoaniehe
What is pressure
Stellamaris Reply
force over area
Jake
force applied per unit area
john
force applied per unit area
Prajapati
Why does carbonic acid don't react with metals
Aditya Reply
Why does carbonic acid don't react with metal
Aditya
Some metals will react depending on their Standard Electrode Potential. Carbonic acid is a very weak acid (i.e. a low hydrogen ion concentration) so the rate of reaction is very low.
Paul
sample of carbon-12 has a mass of 6.00g. How many atoms of carbon-12 are in the sample
Emokiniovo Reply
a sample of carbon-12 has a mass of 6.00g. How many atoms of carbon-12 are in the sample
Sharmin Reply
an object of weight 10N immersed in a liquid displaces a quantity of d liquid.if d liquid displaced weights 6N.determine d up thrust of the object
ugonna Reply
how human discover earth is not flat
Jason Reply
We don't fall off. If set off in any direction in a straight line and keep going. You'll end up back where you started.
Adelle
earth is spherical
Unique
Also, every other planet is spherical as that is the most energy efficient shape. gravity pulls equally on all areas. Sphere.
Adelle
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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