H+ / acid confusion

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by cbrons, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*

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    Does the + in H+ refer to its oxidation state (that it has less electrons than protons,
    a net positive charge)?
    I'm also confused as to how acids are considered molecules that release H+ ions in a solution and thus have a net negative charge....

    So because they release "protons" (that's what H+ is simply called, right?), they are reduced and thus have a net negative charge at neutral pH?
     
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  3. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*

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    Or was that just written poorly?
     
  4. Kaydubz

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    The + in H+ refers to its net positive charge yes, and since it is a monoatomic ion, the + also refers to its oxidation state.

    When considering how an acid should behave, you need to consider both the pH of the solution and the pKa of the acid. At pH's higher than the pKa, the acid is a stronger proton donor than the surrounding solution. At pH's lower than the pKa, the hydrogen ion concentration in solution is already so high that the acid cannot release any more hydrogen ions.

    Since acids generally have low pKa's, this means that in a neutral solution with pH 7, the acid will release an H+ ion into solution, and in doing so take the acidic hydrogen's electron, so I guess you could say it is being reduced. With the extra electron from the hydrogen, the acid now carries a negative charge.
     

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