Ch.15 - Acid and Base EquilibriumSee all chapters
All Chapters
Ch.1 - Intro to General Chemistry
Ch.2 - Atoms & Elements
Ch.3 - Chemical Reactions
BONUS: Lab Techniques and Procedures
BONUS: Mathematical Operations and Functions
Ch.4 - Chemical Quantities & Aqueous Reactions
Ch.5 - Gases
Ch.6 - Thermochemistry
Ch.7 - Quantum Mechanics
Ch.8 - Periodic Properties of the Elements
Ch.9 - Bonding & Molecular Structure
Ch.10 - Molecular Shapes & Valence Bond Theory
Ch.11 - Liquids, Solids & Intermolecular Forces
Ch.12 - Solutions
Ch.13 - Chemical Kinetics
Ch.14 - Chemical Equilibrium
Ch.15 - Acid and Base Equilibrium
Ch.16 - Aqueous Equilibrium
Ch. 17 - Chemical Thermodynamics
Ch.18 - Electrochemistry
Ch.19 - Nuclear Chemistry
Ch.20 - Organic Chemistry
Ch.22 - Chemistry of the Nonmetals
Ch.23 - Transition Metals and Coordination Compounds
Jules Bruno

Strong acids and strong bases represent strong electrolytes that completely dissociate in water, while weak acids and bases represent weak electrolytes with only partial dissociations in water. 


Take a look at my 4-minute video on how to identify acids, bases and their varying strength based on the periodic table (no mnemonics needed!): 

Based on previous concepts, we can view an acid or base in three ways. 

1) Under the Bronsted-Lowry definition, an acid donates a proton (H+) ion, while a base accepts a (H+) ion. 

2) Under the Arrhenius definition, an acid increases the hydrogen ion or hydronium ion (H­­3O+ or H+) concentration when dissolved in aqueous solutions, while a base increases hydroxide ion (OH) concentration. 

3) Under the Lewis definition, an acid accepts an electron pair, while a base donates an electron pair. 

On the typical pH scale an acid will fall below a pH of 7, while a base will fall above a pH of 7. 


Strong Acids & Strong Bases

Strong acids are classified as strong electrolytes that have complete dissociation in water. 

Strong-Acid-Dissociation-EquationStrong Acid Dissociation Equation

Like strong acids, strong bases also represent strong electrolytes that are completely soluble into ions. 

Strong Base Dissociation Equation

The most commonly discussed 7 strong acid examples include: HCl, HBr, HI, HNO3, HClO3, HClO4 and H2SO4

The most commonly discussed strong base examples include: LiOH, NaOH, KOH, RbOH, CsOH, Ca(OH) , Sr(OH)2 and Ba(OH)2. 


Weak Acids & Weak Bases

Both weak acids and weak bases are classified as weak electrolytes that have partial dissociation in water. 

Weak-Acid-Dissociation-EquationWeak Acid Dissociation Equation

Weak bases share similar characteristics to weak acids in that they are also weak electrolytes that only partially dissociate. 

Weak-Base-Dissociation-EquationWeak Base Dissociation Equation

Based on these dissociation patterns you can say that weak acids and bases represent poor conductors, while strong acids and bases represent good conductors and good electrolytes.


Beyond Identification and Classification

After identifying and classifying acids (HA) and bases (A) you will move onto calculating pH (-logH+) and pOH (-logOH) from their concentrated and dilute solutions. 


The calculating of pH and pOH of acids, bases and their salts will be based on acid strength or base strength determined from their Ka, Kb, pKa or pKb


Jules Bruno

Jules felt a void in his life after his English degree from Duke, so he started tutoring in 2007 and got a B.S. in Chemistry from FIU. He’s exceptionally skilled at making concepts dead simple and helping students in covalent bonds of knowledge.