What are some examples of inorganic acids

Definition: acids and bases

The scientist Robert Boyle described in the 17th century acids and bases about their behavior in relation to the plant pigment litmus. Acids colored litmus tincture red, bases colored it blue. Two centuries later, the physicist and chemist defined Svante Arrhenius Acids as substances that form hydrogen ions in aqueous solution. While this statement is not false, it is not entirely complete. The chemists ultimately provided a complete definition John Nicholas Brönsted and Thomas Martin Lowry in 1928. They defined acids as substances whose particles can release, i.e. lose, protons (hydrogen ions), while bases, on the other hand, are particles that can bind, i.e. absorb, protons. This definition has not been refuted to this day.

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Note: Acids give protons (H.+) off! They are thus proton suppliers (donors). Bases take protons (H.+) on! They are therefore proton acceptors.

In this chapter we will only deal with inorganic acids and Bases deal in aqueous solution. However, the general definition of acids and bases should also be kept in mind in organic chemistry. It also applies there! It is important to understand that the acid-base behavior of substances cannot be assigned to a substance class, but is a property of compounds!

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Note: Acids and bases include compounds with a very specific property or function. Acids and bases are not classes of substances!

As you can easily see from the definition, the proton (H+-Ion) in the foreground in the acid-base chapter. A compound can only act as an acid if its antagonist, a base, is also present to take up the released proton. Protons are not particles that are simply freely present in the reaction medium. You are immediately intercepted by a base.

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Note: Reactions between acids and bases are always associated with proton transitions. They are therefore also called protolysis. Protolysis is based on the donor-acceptor principle.

The following two tables list important names and the associated molecular formulas of acids and bases. Every high school graduate with a chemistry exam should at least recognize and name the compounds that occur there.

Table 1: Important acids, their molecular formulas and the counterion

If you dissolve a certain amount of one of the acids from Table 1, e.g. HCl (hydrochloric acid), in a certain volume of water, you get an acid with a certain concentration.

Table 2: Important bases, their molecular formulas and the counterions

If you dissolve a certain amount of one of the bases from Table 2, e.g. NH3 or NaOH, in a certain volume of water, you get one Lye a certain concentration. However, the term base is often used in a simplified manner.