Why do H+ ions not react with the atoms/molecules they're originally bonded to?

  • Thread starter wasteofo2
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

If you dissolve HCl in solution, the why do the H+ and the Cl- not react with one another? The H+ will react with any metal, will react with OH-, will react with your skin for sure, along with many other things, but why does it seem to just ignore a perfectly good negative ion that is in the exact same concentration as it is.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
345
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But it DOES. You have to remember this is hydrogen chloride gas IN solution, which allows Dissociation of the HCl molecule due to Hydration.
 
  • #3
movies
Science Advisor
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Yeah, better to think of it as the HCl molecule reacts with water to dissociate the two.
 
  • #4
Borek
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Hydrogen chloride dissociates in water

[tex]HCl \leftrightarrow H^+ + Cl^-[/tex]

dissociation constant for this reaction is

[tex]K_a = \frac {[H^+][Cl^-]} {[HCl]}[/tex]

pKa = -4 (see pKa tables at ChemBuddy).

So in every solution of hydrochloric acid you may expect minute amounts of undissociated HCl - but as the Ka constant is large, these will be VERY minute.
 

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