One thing to keep in mind at this point is that the term “strong acid” has nothing to do with corrosiveness or strength. However, the adjective “strong” suggests that the acid can release a large number of hydrogen ions into a solution. When a strong acid is given to water, it dissociates fully into ions, meaning that all of the acid molecules break down.
Strong acids dissociate at least one hydrogen cation (H+) per molecule, whereas weak acids dissociate at a rate of less than 1%. This indicates that only a small percentage of the weak acids’ molecules degrade to release H+. “Why is this important?” you might be thinking at this point. It’s all about chemical reactions, after all. Consider the ionization process of HCL, one of the most prevalent acids on the list of the strongest acids.
H+ + Cl– = HCl
Isn’t there one hydrogen ion in the product? This indicates that the chemical reaction ionized all of the HCL. You should also keep in mind that the equation is only moving in one way. This means that once the reaction is complete, it cannot be reversed – it is irreversible.
We’ll now show you how a weak acid interacts in water to highlight the distinction between strong and weak acids. In this situation, we’ll utilize ethanoic acid as the acid.
H3O+ + CH3COO– CH3COOH + H2O
If you look attentively, you’ll notice two arrows pointing in opposite directions in the reaction. This implies that it is reversible (hydrogen ions keep shifting from being part of the acid to water and vice versa).
What are the 7 Strong Acids, and what do they do?
There are just seven strong acids in total. The remaining acids are all weak acids. So try to memorize them, as well as their formulas, because you’ll run into them in a variety of situations, particularly with chemical equations.
7 Acids That Are Very Strong
- HClO3 (chloric acid)
- HBr (hydrobromic acid)
- HCl (hydrochloric acid)
- HI (hydroionic acid)
- HNO3 nitric acid
- HClO4 perchloric acid
- H2SO4 (sulfuric acid)
Concentrated Acids vs. Strong Acids
It’s important to remember that strong acids aren’t the same as concentrated acids. Furthermore, diluted acids are not the same as weak acids. So, what’s the distinction? The amount of water or solvent in an acid determines its concentration. When an acid has less water, it is said to be concentrated. An acid that contains more water, on the other hand, is diluted.
Remember that there is no such thing as a standard when it comes to acid concentration. As a result, a strong acid that is diluted and a weak acid that is concentrated are both feasible. However, the PH of a diluted acid should be about 7, whereas that of a concentrated acid should be around 3.
Corrosive Acid vs. Strong Acid
Just because an acid is on the list of strong acids doesn’t mean it’s corrosive. Corrosiveness refers to a substance’s ability to harm the surface it comes into touch with, such as living tissue. Some acids are so corrosive that they eat away at everything, including bones. However, the corrosiveness of an acid is unrelated to its strength.
Corrosiveness and acid strength are two different terms for the same thing. Sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, for example, are extremely corrosive. They’re even capable of corroding stainless steel. A weak acid, on the other hand, can also be quite corrosive. Take hydrofluoric acid, for example; although being a weak acid, it may easily decalcify bones.
Corrosive acids, for example, lose their corrosiveness when they are diluted. This implies that if they come into contact with your hands, they may only produce minor irritations like itching.
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