Relative strength of acids and bases
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- Find the equilibrium constant for two competing weak acids and their conjugate pairs.
Ethanoic acid, CH3COOH and carbonic acid, H2CO3 are both weak acids. Their Ka acidity constants1 are below:
Ka (CH3COOH) = 1.4*10-5
Ka (H2CO3) = 4.5*10-7
- Use the Ka expression to compare the strengths of two weak acids.
Formic acid, HCOOH, and butanoic acid, CH3CH2CH2COOH, are both weak acids. Their Ka acidity constants1 are below:
Ka (HCOOH): 1.8*10-4
Ka (CH3CH2CH2COOH): 1.5*10-5
Write a Keq expression using the two weak acids and their conjugate bases to explain which is the stronger acid.
1 Source for acidity constant (Ka) data: ATKINS, P. W., & DE PAULA, J. (2006). Atkins' Physical chemistry. Oxford, Oxford University Press.