Acids are essential to many chemical processes. Reactions involving acids are determined by the transfer of protons or single H+ ions. The acidity of a solution depends upon the concentration of hydrogen ions. Here, we will cover the definition of an acid, the rules for naming acids, how to write formulas for acids, acids used in industry, and acids found in nature.
What is an acid?
An acid is a molecular compound that consists of at least one hydrogen atom and when it is dissolved in water, it produces hydrogen ions. Since acids are molecular, in their pure state, their structure consists of individual molecules. However, when dissolved in water, the chemical bond shared between the hydrogen atom and the remainder of the molecules break. This leaves a hydrogen ion that is positively charged and an anion.
What are the 3 rules for naming acids?
Since acids consist of hydrogen, the name of the acid depends upon the anion that goes with it. The anions are either monatomic or polyatomic. Monatomic ions end in ‘ide’ and most polyatomic ions end in ‘ate’ or ‘ite’. The anion’s suffix determines how the acid is named.
The three suffixes lead to the following three rules:
- If the anion ends in ‘ide’, the name of the acid begins with the ‘hydro’ prefix. The root of the anion followed by ‘ic’ goes in between the prefix and the suffix. Ex. hydrochloric acid
- If the anion ends in ‘ate’, the acid name is the root followed by the suffix ‘ic’. There isn’t a prefix. Ex. sulfuric acid
- If the anion ends in ‘ite’, the acid name is the root followed by the ‘ous’ suffix. There is no prefix. Ex. nitrous acid
How do you write formulas for acids?
When writing formulas for acids, you need to remember that acids are electrically neutral. That’s why the anion charge of the formula has to be balanced out with the H+ ions which carry a single negative charge. The number of positively-charged hydrogen ions must be equal to the number of negative charges on the anion.
What are the four most common types of acids used in industry?
The four types of acids used in industry have a few things in common. They have a sour taste, sour smell, are soluble in water, react with most metals, and are corrosive.
What are some types of acid in nature?
There are also many acids that are found in nature. These include the following:
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