Tips for Acid-Base Problems

Tips for Acid-Base Problems - Tips on Solving Acid-Base...

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Tips on Solving Acid-Base Problems in Organic Chemistry Predicting the products and direction of an acid-base reaction can seem difficult at first until you understand a few simple tricks that can help get you started. You must begin by identifying the acid and base on the left side of the equation. Below are some things I would look for. 1. Are either of the reactants a classic strong acid, such as HCl, HBr, HI, or H 3 O + ? If so, that compound will be the acid in the reaction and the other reactant will be the base. For example: CH 3 CH 2 –OH + HI –––––––– ? HI is the acid and CH 3 CH 2 –OH is the base. Remember, the base will always have an unshared electron pair. In this reaction the hydrogen of the HI will protonate the oxygen of the alcohol to produce I 1- and CH 3 CH 2 –OH 2 1+ . 2. Do any of the reactants contain the metals Na, K, Li, Mg? These metals can be considered as cations that do not play a role in the reaction (spectator ions). The thing to which they are
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2011 for the course CHEM 152 taught by Professor Chiu during the Spring '08 term at University of Washington.

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Tips for Acid-Base Problems - Tips on Solving Acid-Base...

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