Strong acids versus weak acids
- How do you describe a strong acid from a weak acid chemically?
- Strong acids are acids that are completely or nearly 100% ionized in their solutions.
- It means nearly or all the molecules you put in the solution are completely broken into ions.
- (An ion is simply a name given to an atom that has lost or gained an electron. If the ion has more electrons than protons, it becomes a negative ion called anion. If the ion has less electrons than protons, it becomes a positive ion called cation. )
Examples of strong acids
Notice the H+ ions released
- HCl - hydrochloric acid -->H+ + Cl-
- HNO3 - nitric acid --> H+ + NO3-
- H2SO4 - sulfuric acid --> 2H+ + SO42-
- HBr - hydrobromic acid --> H+ + Br-
Examples of weak acids
- HO2C2O2H - oxalic acid
- H2SO3 - sulfurous acid
- HSO4 - - hydrogen sulfate ion
- H3PO4 - phosphoric acid
- HNO2 - nitrous acid