Problem 16.96

Based on their compositions and structures and on conjugate acid-base relationships, select the stronger base in each of the following pairs:

(a)NO3- or NO2-

Nitrate ion is the conjugate base of a strong acid; nitrous ion is the conjugate base of a weak acid, and therefore is a stronger base than nitrate ion.

(b) PO43- or AsO43-

Hmmm.. form the acids related to these anions, and go from there. P is more electronegative than As, H3PO4 is the stronger acid, and AsO43- is the stronger base.

(c) HCO3- or CO32-

Carbonate ion is the stronger base - the more negative the anion, the stronger the attraction for protons. Could you calculate Kb for both species and verify this?

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Doug Chapman 8/13/08