Polyprotic Acid Video Lessons

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Problem: A fuel cell differs from a battery because the current is being generated from a reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction in which the reactant is consumed. A classic example of a fuel cell is the phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC), which have been used in stationary power generators, buses, and even submarines. Fuel cells require an electrolyte (similar to batteries) to carry electrically charged species between the electrodes, and a PAFC utilizes phosphoric acid (H3PO4) as its electrolyte. Phosphoric acid has three acidic protons that can dissociate in water, as highlighted in red here: H3PO4. However, it is considered a weak acid because some of the acid will remain in molecular form when dissolved in water. Write the complete ionic equation that depicts the dissociation of the first proton for the weak acid phosphoric acid (H3PO4). Make certain you include all charges for any ions produced. Express your answer as a chemical equation including phases.

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H3PO4 is a tripotic acid. This means it has three dissociable protons that undergo stepwise ionization.


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Problem Details

A fuel cell differs from a battery because the current is being generated from a reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction in which the reactant is consumed. A classic example of a fuel cell is the phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC), which have been used in stationary power generators, buses, and even submarines. 

Fuel cells require an electrolyte (similar to batteries) to carry electrically charged species between the electrodes, and a PAFC utilizes phosphoric acid (H3PO4) as its electrolyte. 

Phosphoric acid has three acidic protons that can dissociate in water, as highlighted in red here: H3PO4. However, it is considered a weak acid because some of the acid will remain in molecular form when dissolved in water. Write the complete ionic equation that depicts the dissociation of the first proton for the weak acid phosphoric acid (H3PO4). Make certain you include all charges for any ions produced. Express your answer as a chemical equation including phases.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Rai's class at Louisiana State University - Eunice.