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Strong and Weak Acids

What is the difference between a strong acid and a weak acid? Give one example of each.
What is meant by the ionic product for water, Kw? Define pH and hence calculate the pH of a solution of
a) 0.01 M hydrochloric acid
b) 0.1 M sodium hydroxide
c) 0.2 M sulphuric acid
d) 0.1 M butanoic acid, given that Ka = 1.51 x 10-5

Solution Preview

Explain clearly the difference between a strong acid and a weak acid. Give one example of each.

OTA: Strong Acid: A strong acid dissociates completely in water. The example is hydrochloric acid. No HCl is left in solution. Only the H+ and Cl- are present in solution.
HCl (aq) -> H+ (aq) + Cl- (aq)

Weak Acid: A weak acid only partially dissociates in water. An example is Acetic Acid (CH3-COOH). Some CH3-COOH will remain in solution.

CH3-COOH (aq) -> CH3-COO- (aq) + H+ (aq)

What is meant by the ionic product for water, Kw ?

H2O dissociates into H+ and OH-. We ...

Solution Summary

This solution demonstrates how to identify strong and weak acids and define pH using examples and chemical equations. 400 words.

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