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Why do strong oxidizers and hydroxide not react with each other?

  1. Nov 22, 2007 #1


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    Hydroxide is a strong reducing agent, probably the strongest that can exist in water.
    Oxyacids without the hydrogen are all strong oxidizing agents, but most oxyacids (all?), without their hydrogen, can be put in a strong hydroxide solution and nothing will happen. Oxidation of organics with potassium permanganate is often done in the presence of a strong base. Potassium nitrate and sodium hydroxide don't seem to react. Sodium hypochlorite is made by bubbling chlorine gas into sodium hydroxide, so obviously hypochlorite does not react with hydroxide, or it does at a rate so slow that it's almost nonexistent.

    Shouldn't something happen between oxyacids and hydroxide?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2007 #2
    [tex]\displaystyle {OH^-}[/tex]

    doesn't react with water to give

    [tex]\displaystyle {H_2}[/tex].
    What do you mean? Their coniugated base?
    Not all.

    [tex]\displaystyle {H_2SO_3, ~H_2CO_3, ~H_3PO_4,~H_3BO_3}[/tex]

    are not (for example) and not even their coniugated bases:

    [tex]\displaystyle {HSO_3^-, ~SO_3^{2-},~HCO_3^-,~\displaystyle{ecc.}[/tex]

    Yes, an acid-base reaction :smile:
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
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