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Aqueous Salt Solutions - Acid and Base Properties

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It is possible to predict whether an aqueous solution of a salt with both basic and acidic properties will be basic, acidic or neutral by comparing the Ka value for the acidic ion with the Kb value for the basic ion.

See also Strong and weak acids and bases and Buffer solutions, as well as pKa of inorganic acids and basespKa of phenols, alcohols and carboxylic acids and pKa of amines, diamines and cyclic organic nitrogen compounds.

Acid vs. Basic Ion
Ka vs Kb  pH Basic or acidic
Ka > Kb < 7 Acidic
Ka < Kb > 7 Basic
Ka = Kb 7 Neutral

This table summarizes the acid-base properties of aqueous solutions of various salts:

For full table - rotate the screen!

Aqueous Salt Solutions - Acid and Base Properties
Type of salt Examples pH of solution Comment
Cation from Anion from
Strong base Strong acid BaCl2, KCl, CaNO3, Na2SO4 Neutral Neither acts as an acid or a base
Strong base Weak acid NaF, KCHOO, NaHCO3 Basic Anion acts as a base
Cation has no effect on pH
Conjugate acid of weak base Strong acid NH4Br, NH4NO3, Acidic Cation acts as an acid
Anion has no effect on pH
Conjugate acid of weak base Conjugate base of weak acid NH4CN, NH4CH3COO Acidic if Ka > Kb Basic if Kb > Ka Neutral if Ka = Kb Cation acts as an acid
Anion acts as a base
Highly charged metal ion Strong acid Al(NO3)3, CrCl3 Acidic Hydrated cations acts as an acid
Anions has no effect on pH
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Related Topics

Material Properties

Properties of gases, fluids and solids. Densities, specific heats, viscosities and more.

Related Documents

Acid and Base pH Indicators

pH range vs. color change for acid and base indicators - together with pKa and structures of the indicators.

Acids - pH Values

pH values of acids like sulfuric, acetic and more..

Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids - Physical Data

Molweight, melting and boiling point, density, pKa-values, as well as number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in molecules are given for 150 different alcohols and acids.

Amines, Diamines and Cyclic Organic Nitrogen Compounds - pKa Values

Values for the negative logarithm of the acid dissociation constant, pKa, of the conjugated acid of amines, diamines and cyclic organic nitrogen compounds, shown together with the molecular structure of the acids.

Bases - pH Values

pH values for bases like sodium hydroxide, ammonia and more.

Buffer Solutions

Definitions, explanations and examples of how to make buffer solutions.

Inorganic Acids and Bases - pKa Values

Values for the negative logarithm of the acid dissociation constant, pKa, of inorganic acids and bases, as well as hydrated metal ions.

Phenols, Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids - pKa Values

For oxygen containing organic compounds this is given: pKa (the negative logarithm of the acid dissociation constant), molecular structures, molar weights, density and melting and boiling points.

Strong and Weak Acids and Bases

The most common strong acids and bases, and some examples of weak acids and bases, together with definition of strong and weak acids and bases.

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