8.1 Theory of acids and bases

The role of acids and bases

  • Acids and bases are opposites
  • Many theories describe how they work
  1. Arrhenius Theory of acids and bases
    • Acids produce H+ ions, bases produce OH ions
    • Neutralization is the process of combining an acid and a base
    • Limitation: weak base ammonia and hydrogen chloride gas could not be explained, as ammonia does not contain OH
  2. Bronsted-Lowry acids and bases
    • Refer to hydrogen ion as a proton;
    • Acid is proton donor, base is proton acceptor

Conjugate acids and bases

  • In a reversible reaction between acid and bases, there are conjugates as well

Conjugate pairs

Amphiprotic species

  • Amphiprotic species: Substances which can be both Bronsted-Lowry acids or bases depending on the reaction
    • Examples:


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