Understanding Conjugate Acids in Acid-Base Reactions

In summary, the conversation is discussing the correct answer to a question about conjugate acids, specifically the form of bicarbonate when it accepts a proton. The correct answer is H2CO3, but there was some confusion over a similar question that involved mixing bicarbonate with water and producing carbon dioxide. The conversation also mentions a debate over the acid characteristics of hydrogen carbonate.
  • #1
apchemstudent
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I'm guessing the answer is a). I found a similar problem except if the bicarbonate was mixed with water instead. And the selections were:
H3O(+), OH(-), CO3(2-), H2CO3

I think the answer to that question would be H2CO3 since it's asking for the conjugate acid which will be the form of bicarbonate when it accepts a proton.

However, in the attachment, that question is asking for the conjugate acid when it is mixed in an acid. So water and carbon dioxide will be produced. and water is the one that accepts the proton.

Am i correct? thanks.
 

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  • #2
your right, it is diprotic acid, E. In this case hydrogen carbonate acts as a base...despite the fact that it also has acid characteristics.

We recently had a fairly lengthy debate over a matter related to this issue, one which still has not been resolved...I aim to resolve it soon.
 
  • #3


Yes, you are correct. In the attachment, the reaction is asking for the conjugate acid when bicarbonate is mixed in an acid. In this case, water will act as the base and accept a proton from the acid, producing carbonic acid (H2CO3) as the conjugate acid. So the correct answer would be H2CO3.
 

Related to Understanding Conjugate Acids in Acid-Base Reactions

1. What is a conjugate acid in an acid-base reaction?

A conjugate acid is the species that is formed when a base accepts a proton (H+) from an acid. It is the product of the acid-base reaction and is always one unit higher in the pH scale than the original base.

2. How are conjugate acids and bases related?

Conjugate acids and bases are related through the transfer of a proton (H+) in an acid-base reaction. The original base becomes the conjugate acid, and the original acid becomes the conjugate base.

3. What is the difference between a strong acid and a weak acid in terms of conjugate acids?

A strong acid has a weak conjugate acid, meaning that it readily donates a proton and does not have a strong tendency to reacquire it. A weak acid, on the other hand, has a strong conjugate acid that does have a strong tendency to reacquire a proton.

4. How do I determine the strength of a conjugate acid?

The strength of a conjugate acid can be determined by looking at the strength of its parent acid. If the parent acid is strong, the conjugate acid will be weak and vice versa. The strength of an acid can also be determined by its Ka value, with a higher Ka indicating a stronger acid.

5. Can a species be both an acid and a conjugate acid?

Yes, a species can be both an acid and a conjugate acid. This occurs when an acid donates a proton to a base, becoming a conjugate base, but then accepts a proton from another base, becoming a conjugate acid again. This can continue in a cycle, with the species acting as both an acid and a conjugate acid multiple times.

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