Problem: Butyric acid is responsible for the foul smell of rancid butter. The pKa of butyric acid is 4.84.Calculate the pH of a 5.0×10−2 M solution of sodium butyrate.

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to calculate the pOH of a 5.0×10−2 M sodium butyrate solution.


Since we don't really need to know the composition of butyric acid, we'll assign it as just HA. 

So sodium butyrate is NaA which is just the salt form of the conjugate base.

The salt dissociates in solution as:

 NaA → Na+(aq) + A-(aq)

So we effectively have a weak base in the solution.


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Problem Details

Butyric acid is responsible for the foul smell of rancid butter. The pKa of butyric acid is 4.84.

Calculate the pH of a 5.0×10−2 M solution of sodium butyrate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Weak Bases concept. If you need more Weak Bases practice, you can also practice Weak Bases practice problems.