Problem: Identify the Lewis acid and the Lewis base in the following reaction.c. HgI2(s) + 2I-(aq) ⇌ HgI42-(aq)

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked which of the given compounds in the reaction is a Lewis acid and Lewis Base

Let’s first define a Lewis acid and a Lewis base.


Based on the Lewis definition:

Lewis acid is an electron pair acceptor.

Some characteristics of a Lewis acid:

When hydrogen is connected to an electronegative element such as P, O, N, S or halogens

▪ hydrogen gains a partially positive charge → makes hydrogen act as a Lewis acid

Positively charged metal ions

▪ can accept negative electron pairs → can act as Lewis Acids

Central element that has less than 8 valence electrons around it

▪ more likely to accept an electron pair to follow the octet rule
▪ can accept electron pair → can act as Lewis acid


Lewis base is an electron pair donor.

Some characteristics of a Lewis base:

Compounds that have lone pair(s) on a central element can act as Lewis bases. 

Compounds that possess a negative charge can act as Lewis Bases. 


Analyze the reactants: 


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Problem Details

Identify the Lewis acid and the Lewis base in the following reaction.

c. HgI2(s) + 2I-(aq) ⇌ HgI42-(aq)

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Hilaire's class at UM.

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Our data indicates that this problem or a close variation was asked in Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition. You can also practice Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach - Zumdahl Atoms 1st 2nd Edition practice problems.