Problem: A solution of sodium acetate (NaCH3COO) has a pH of 9.53. The acid-dissociation constant for acetic acid is 1.8 x 10-5. What is the molarity of the solution?

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We’re being asked to determine the molarity of the solution of sodium acetate (NaCH3COO) if the solution has a pH of 9.53 and the acid-dissociation constant for acetic acid is 1.8 x 10-5.


NaCH3COO is a salt and it will break up in the solution:

NaCH3COO → Na+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)

CH3COO- is the conjugate base of a weak acid (CH3COOH):

   CH3COOH    +   H2O(l)    →    CH3COOH-(aq)    +     H3O+(aq)
     (weak acid)                                  (conjugate base)


Since we’re dealing with a weak base, we will have to create an ICE chart to determine the equilibrium concentration of each species:

CH3COO-weak baseproton acceptor
H2O → will act as the weak acidproton donor


Equilibrium reaction:        CH3COO-(aq) + H2O(l)  CH3COOH(aq) + OH-(aq)

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Problem Details

A solution of sodium acetate (NaCH3COO) has a pH of 9.53. The acid-dissociation constant for acetic acid is 1.8 x 10-5. What is the molarity of the solution?

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