Register to reply

Is the reaction between water & hydrochloric acid an neutralization ?

Share this thread:
Feb13-13, 05:53 PM
P: 43

Hydrochloric acid is the acid & water would be considered the base.

Also does this mean that if there are more H20 molecules the solution would be considered a base?

And if we have more HCl molecules than H20 this means the solution could be considered acidic?
If so is it possible to dissolve more HCl molecules then there are H20 molecules in H20, so we would acquire an acidic solution?

Thanks in advance!
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on
'Smart material' chin strap harvests energy from chewing
King Richard III died painfully on battlefield
Capturing ancient Maya sites from both a rat's and a 'bat's eye view'
Feb13-13, 07:13 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 6,729
That's not the way acids work. When HCl is dissolved in water, a positive hydronium ion (H3O) is produced along with a negative chlorine ion.

The pH value of water is 7.0 Adding even a small amount of HCl to the water would reduce the pH below 7.0, or to the acidic side.
Feb13-13, 07:41 PM
P: 43
Thanks for the help! But how do we then call the reaction? So if its not a neutralization reaction, is it an acid-base reaction?

Feb14-13, 12:15 AM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 6,729
Is the reaction between water & hydrochloric acid an neutralization ?

An acid-base reaction is a neutralization.

Look at it this way. Dissolving HCl and say sodium hydroxide in water facilitates their reaction, which produces more water plus sodium chloride. The water can be removed and only the sodium chloride remains.
Feb14-13, 04:43 AM
Borek's Avatar
P: 23,716
I am not sure there is a "name" for this reaction. If anything, we can speak about water molecules protonation.
Feb18-13, 11:58 AM
P: 43
can we call it an acid base reaction?, because the definition(in my book) of an acid base reaction is: Proton transfer between the reactants.
Meanwhile the definition(in my book) of a neutralization is the reaction of an acid with a base with a formation of an ionic compound (sometimes with water)!
There is no formation of an ionic compound so its not a neutralization reaction. We could call it a proton transfer or just a acid/base reaction. Do I make any sense? :D
Feb18-13, 01:29 PM
P: 23
Wouldn't any acid or base in water reaction be called dissociation?
Feb18-13, 03:59 PM
P: 40
Feb18-13, 05:52 PM
P: 384
Going by a strict definition of a BL acid or base the dissociation of HCl in water can be classified as an acid base reaction because there is a proton donor and acceptor. The difference between that and a neutralization reaction is that water is the solvent in both cases. It acts more as the medium into which the protons or hydroxides disperse and go on to interact and zoom around etc. It may seem trivial but is nevertheless an important distinction to chemists. They are treated very differently in qualitative and quantitative aspects.

You cannot do acid base titrations with pure water because it is not a good source of ions. There are only 100nmol of hydrogen ions per liter of water. Imagine trying to titrate 1L of a 0.02M HCl solution with pure water. What you are really doing is diluting the solution, not neutralizing. At some point you just dilute so much of the HCl that you are back to water with some contaminants and very near pH 7.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Phosphoric acid vs. Hydrochloric acid when removing rust and rerusting Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 5
What vessels to use with hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid? Chemistry 1
Reaction of Calcium Carbonate in Water with Hydrochloric Acid Chemistry 5
Stoichiometry: yield of reaction between hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 3
Neutralization (Acid-Base) Reaction Chemistry 1