As an organic chemistry college student you will discover yourself confronted with acid/based questions again and also again.

You are watching: Which of the following are produced when a base is dissolved in water

From categorizing molecule to ranking their toughness without pKa or pKb values. This isn"t devastating if/when you discover it correctly, however, her professor will certainly assume you already know this.

So s/he won’t teach it.


Because you’re expected to remember this from ago in general chemistry.

Instead your professor will certainly fly v the material and expect friend to store up.

But this won"t assist with the acid/base classifications.

Simply memorizing definitions without true understanding won"t make it any type of easier. Particularly when faced with a molecule that appears to fit an ext than one acid/base definition.

So let"s take a look at acid/base meanings in a much more logical way.

Categories the Acids and also Bases

Before us dive in, be sure to download my cost-free acid/base cheat paper to follow along now and also take v you to study on the go – organic Chemistry mountain Base Cheat Sheet

Acids and also bases will loss under one or more that the following three categories:

Arrhenius acids/basesBronsted-Lowry acids/basesLewis acids/bases

The key here is to identify that when each category has a specific definition, any given molecule can fall into much more than one category, some right into all 3. Again, something we"ll watch at later on in this article.

Arrhenius Acid

An Arrhenius mountain is a molecule the when dissolved in water will certainly donate an H+ in solution. Just put, a proton donor.

The trick come recognizing one Arrhenius acid is to look for a molecule the starts v an H, and also typically contains one oxygen or halogen.

Common examples of Arrhenius mountain include:

Hydrochloric acid – HClNitric acid – HNO3Sulfuric mountain – H2SO4Acetic mountain – HCH3CO2and so numerous more…

An mountain dissociating in water walk not form a free-floating proton. Instead one the the water molecule in systems will grab the H+ yielding a hydronium or H3O+ ion. Here"s what happens when nitric mountain dissociates in water.


Arrhenius Base

An Arrhenius base is a molecule that when dissolved in water will breakdown to yield an OH- or hydroxide in solution. To acknowledge the Arrhenius base look because that a molecule finishing in OH, but not following CHx which refers to an alcohol.

Arrhenius base instances include:

Sodium hydroxide – NaOHPotassium hydroxide – KOHMagnesium hydroxide – Mg(OH)2and so countless more…


But what if the acid/base is not dissolved in water?

The Arrhenius definition for acids and also bases just refers to compounds liquified in water. Does this average that acids and also bases cannot exist out of water? not quite, that"s whereby the Bronsted-Lowry meaning comes in.

Bronsted-Lowry Acid

A Bronsted-Lowry acid, prefer an Arrhenius acid, is a compound that breaks under to provide an H+ in solution. The only distinction is the the systems does not need to be water. We deserve to still refer to the exact same mountain as detailed for the Arrhenius acid examples, but this time we"ll readjust the solvent come ammonia, alcohol, or something else.

We observed what happens when nitric acid (HNO3) dissolves in water. Currently let"s check out what happens as soon as it disappear in ammonia (NH3) or also methanol (CH3OH)


Nitric acid still dissolved to yield an H+ and NO3-, but this time it to be NH3 and also not water the picked increase the free-floating proton.

Bronsted-Lowry Base

This is wherein we start to check out the difference in between the Bronsted-Lowry and also Arrhenius definitions. While the Arrhenius base referred especially to the hydroxide (OH-) ion, the Bronsted-Lowry basic refers to any kind of atom or ion capable of accepting or bonding to a free proton in solution.

Referring ago to the HNO3 + NH3 reaction above, as soon as ammonia choose up the complimentary H+ the acts together a proton-acceptor. NH3 is the Bronsted-Lowry basic in this example.

Additional examples include:

Methanol – CH3OHFormaldehyde – H2COAnd also water – H2O

Lewis Acids and also bases

The Lewis an interpretation for acids and bases is the many extreme due to the fact that it"s not handling protons specifically. Instead the Lewis definition deals with the activity of electrons.

Lewis Acid/Base Mnemonic

Think that Lewis together ‘lectrons"

Lewis Acid

A Lewis acid describes an atom or molecule that accepts one electron pair. Think back to her ‘pushing arrows" because that orgo mechanisms. Every time you draw an arrow representing the activity of electrons, the atom getting attacked or agree those electrons is the Lewis acid in that reaction.

Common Lewis Acid instances in necessary Chemistry

Borane – BH3 (hydroboration reaction)Aluminum Chloride – AlCl3 (electrophilic aromatic substitution reaction)Iron (III) Bromide – FeBr3 (electrophilic aromatic substitution reaction)and our great friend H+ (keep reading)

The drawing listed below is part of the EAS aromatic Halogenation reaction i m sorry you"ll watch in late Orgo 1 or Orgo 2. Notice how the Fe gets struck by a lone pair that electrons. By agree those electron Fe acts together a Lewis acid


Lewis Base

Since the Lewis definition has to carry out with the transfer of electrons, girlfriend can guess by currently that a Lewis basic is an electron pair donor. Once again think back to your reaction mechanisms. The molecule making use of its electrons to attack one more atom is an electron pair donor and also a Lewis Base.

Here is the very first step in mountain catalyzed hydration. The pi bond attack H+ provides the alkene a Lewis Base.


What If it Fits much more Than 1 Category?

After finding out the separation, personal, instance acid/base interpretations you"re most likely confused and also overwhelmed.

So lot information and also so very similar!

And what happens if a molecule shows up to fit much more than one category?

For example:

Is OH- one Arrhenius Base? Or maybe its a Bronsted-Lowry or even Lewis Base?

The prize is possibly all 3!

The definitions above evolved slowly as scientists were starting to understand an ext and much more details about chemical reactions. The an initial is a an easy (no pun intended) definition, but the critical 2 simply broaden to right more facility solvents and situations.

Take a look in ~ the reaction listed below where the hydroxide ion attacks a proton on hydronium.


Arrhenius mountain Definition: Hydronium breaks up to yield one H+ in solution.

Arrhenius Base Definition: Hydroxide is an OH- dissolved in water.

Bronsted-Lowry acid Definition: Hydronium is one H+ donor regardless of solution

Bronsted-Lowry Base Definition: Hydroxide attacks and also accepts the H+ indigenous hydronium.

Lewis mountain Definition: The H+ on Hydronium accepts the attack electron pair to kind a bond.

Lewis base Definition: Hydroxide donates its electron pair to form a bond in between itself and also H+

Now that you know the similarities/difference in between Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and also Lewis acids and also bases, just how do girlfriend tell i m sorry is the more powerful or weaker acid? which molecule is more reactive? Which next of a reaction will be favored in ~ equilibrium?

Learn this and much more in mine acids and bases tutorial video clip series:


In conclusion:

As an essential chemistry college student you will certainly be forced to recognize and classify 3 different types of acids and also bases. Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and Lewis. If the technical definitions vary, once you gain the reasonable behind their definitions you"ll have the ability to quickly and easily identify the different species of acids and also bases.

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