How would you determine if you have a mono di or triprotic acid

Diprotic and polyprotic acids contain multiple acidic protons that dissociate in distinct, sequential steps. As their name suggests, polyprotic acids contain more than one acidic proton. Two common examples are carbonic acid H 2 CO 3which has two acidic protons and is therefore a diprotic acid and phosphoric acid H 3 PO 4which has three acidic protons and is therefore a triprotic acid.

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Diprotic and polyprotic acids show unique profiles in titration experiments, where a pH versus titrant volume curve clearly shows two equivalence points for the acid; this is because the two ionizing hydrogens do not dissociate from the acid at the same time. With any polyprotic acid, the first amd most strongly acidic proton dissociates completely before the second-most acidic proton even begins to dissociate. Titration curve of carbonic acid : The titration curve of a polyprotic acid has multiple equivalence points, one for each proton.

A diprotic acid here symbolized by H 2 A can undergo one or two dissociations depending on the pH. Dissociation does not happen all at once; each dissociation step has its own K a value, designated K a1 and K a2 :. The first dissociation constant is necessarily greater than the second i. For example, sulfuric acid H 2 SO 4 can donate two protons in solution:. This first dissociation step of sulfuric acid will occur completely, which is why sulfuric acid is considered a strong acid; the second dissociation step is only weakly dissociating, however.

Take, for example the three dissociation steps of the common triprotic acid phosphoric acid:. For example, a generic diprotic acid will generate three species in solution: H 2 A, HA —and A 2-and the fractional concentration of HA —which is given by:. The following formula shows how to find this fractional concentration of HA —in which pH and the acid dissociation constants for each dissociation step are known:. Fractional ion calculations for polyprotic acids : The above complex equations can determine the fractional concentration of various ions from polyprotic acids.

Solve equilibrium problems using the appropriate approximations for weak and strong polyprotic acids. Polyprotic acids can lose more than one proton. When determining equilibrium concentrations for different ions produced by polyprotic acids, equations can become complex to account for the various components. For a diprotic acid for instance, we can calculate the fractional dissociation alpha of the species HA — using the following complex equation:.

Equation for finding the fractional dissociation of HA- : The above concentration can be used if pH is known, as well as the two acid dissociation constants for each dissociation step; oftentimes, calculations can be simplified for polyprotic acids, however.

We can simplify the problem, depending on the polyprotic acid. The following examples indicate the mathematics and simplifications for a few polyprotic acids under specific conditions. Because the first dissociation is so strong, we can assume that there is no measurable H 2 SO 4 in the solution, and the only equilibrium calculations that need be performed deal with the second dissociation step only.

At a pH equal to the pK a for a particular dissociation, the two forms of the dissociating species are present in equal concentrations, due to the following mathematical observation. Take for instance the second dissociation step of phosphoric acid, which has a pK a2 of 7. As long as the pK a values of successive dissociations are separated by three or four units as they almost always arematters are simplified.

Phosphoric acid : The chemical structure of phosphoric acid indicates it has three acidic protons. When a weak diprotic acid such as carbonic acid, H 2 CO 3dissociates, most of the protons present come from the first dissociation step:. Privacy Policy. Skip to main content.

Acids and Bases. Search for:. Diprotic and Polyprotic Acids Diprotic and Polyprotic Acids Diprotic and polyprotic acids contain multiple acidic protons that dissociate in distinct, sequential steps.Monoprotic vs Polyprotic Acids. Acids are defined in several ways by various scientists. Bronsted- Lowry defines a base as a substance that can accept a proton. Lewis acid definition is far common than the above two.

According to it, any electron pair donator is a base. According to the Arrhenius or Bronsted-Lowry definition, a compound should have a hydrogen and the ability to donate it as a proton to be an acid. For example, BCl 3 is a Lewis acid, because it can accept an electron pair. An alcohol can be a Bronsted-Lowry acid because it can donate a proton but, according to Lewis, it will be a base. Regardless of the above definitions, we normally identify an acid as a proton donor.

Acids have a sour taste. Lime juice, vinegar are two acids we come across at our homes. They react with bases producing water, and they also react with metals to form H 2thus increase metal corrosion rate. Acids can be categorized into two, based on their ability to dissociate and produce protons. K a is the acid dissociation constant. It gives an indication of the ability to lose a proton of a weak acid. To check whether a substance is an acid or not we can use several indicators like litmus paper or pH paper.

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In the pH scale, from acids are represented. An acid with pH 1 is said to be very strong, and as the pH value increases, acidity is decreased. Moreover, acids turn blue litmus to red. When one molecule of acid dissociates in an aqueous solution, if it gives a single proton, then that acid is said to be a monoprotic acid.

HCl and nitric acid HNO 3 are some examples for monoprotic mineral acids. Following is the dissociation for HCl in the aqueous medium to give out one proton. Other than the mineral acid, there can be monoprotic organic acids too.As a weak polyprotic acid, it does not completely dissociate.

Here are some examples of weak polyprotic acids:. K a corresponds to the reaction of a weak acid with water and can be used to determine the pH of a solution.

Activation energy for mono, di and triprotic (or basic) acids.?

Phosphoric acid becomes a conjugate base because it loses a proton. The equation is as follows:. There are as many acid ionization constants as there are acidic protons.

For example, the ionization steps for phosphoric acid with ionization constants are. Acid dissociation constants, along with information from a titration, give the information needed to determine the pH of the solution.

how would you determine if you have a mono di or triprotic acid

The purpose of titration is to find the concentration of an unknown solution by adding a known volume of a solution with a known concentration to the unknown concentration of a solution.

After finding the concentration of this unknown solution, one can find the pH of the solution, given information about the acid dissociation constant s. When an acid is titrated, there is an equivalence, or stoichiometric, point, which is when the moles of the strong base added equal of the moles of weak acid present. The midpoint, also indicated in the figure, is when the number of moles of strong base added equals half of the moles of the weak acid that are present.

For this reason, the midpoint is half of the equivalence point. Notice that there are as many midpoints as there are equivalence points.

At the midpoint, pH equals the value of pKa because there is mixture of the weak acid and the strong base. To quantify this, the Henderson-Hasselbalch Approximation can be used:.

Since there are 3 acidic protons in this example, there is expected to be three equivalence points. Note: This is disregarding the base used in the titration which would change your products depending upon the base used. Another equivalence points also means yet another midpoint. The following example below, we can conclude that the graph of a weak polyprotic acid will show not one as the graph of a weak acid with a strong base titration graph would lookbut multiple equivalence points.

After this titration, 0. Titration The purpose of titration is to find the concentration of an unknown solution by adding a known volume of a solution with a known concentration to the unknown concentration of a solution. Like other titrations, this includes both an analyte and a titrant. The weak polyprotic acid analyte is in green and is titrated with teh strong base the titrant in red.

CC BY; Heather Yee via LibreTexts When an acid is titrated, there is an equivalence, or stoichiometric, point, which is when the moles of the strong base added equal of the moles of weak acid present.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Chemistry Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientists, academics, teachers, and students in the field of chemistry.

It only takes a minute to sign up. I know that some acids for sure and for certain are polyprotic. However not all acids with multiple hydrogens are polyprotic, even if 2 or more hydrogens are attached to very electronegative atoms.

So if I am given an acid and it's chemical structure how would I know if it is polyprotic or not? Or is there a better way to prove whether or not an acid is polyprotic?

As discussed in your question and ensuing comments, there are ways to predict via theory whether a particular compound would be a polyprotic acid, but your last sentence asks how to prove that an acid is polyprotic.

This pretty much limits us, as you proposed, to laboratory experiment, namely acid-base titration. The experimental procedure is as simple as preparing a solution of the unkown acid, then titrating with a strong base solution while monitoring the pH.

The following is a titration curve for the diprotic oxalic acid, using sodium hydroxide as the strong base titrant. Image taken from this boundless. Note that there are two equivalence pointsat 25 and 50 ml of added titrant. These equivalence points are the features to look for when titrating the unknown acid.

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A single equivalence point indicates a monoprotic acid, two indicate a diprotic acid, etc. There are a couple drawbacks to this experimental procedure. First, the equivalence points are not always as well defined as that shown in the figure. For instance, two acidic moieties may have similar Ka values and thus may almost appear as one.

Making a derivative plot of the titration curve can help to distinguish the equivalence points. In other words, you plot the change in pH vs volume of titrant added rather than just the pH of the titrant added.A monoprotic acid donates only one proton or hydrogen atom per molecule to an aqueous solution.

The electrical charge of a monoprotic acid jumps one level higher before it gives away its proton. Any acid that contains just one hydrogen atom in its formula is monoprotic, but some acids that contain more than one hydrogen atom are also monoprotic.

In other words, all single-hydrogen acids are monoprotic but not all monoprotic acids contain only a single hydrogen. Because only one hydrogen is released, the pH calculation for a monoprotic acid is fairly straightforward and predictable.

A monoprotic base will only accept a single hydrogen atom.

how would you determine if you have a mono di or triprotic acid

See below for examples of acids that donate only one proton or hydrogen in solution and their chemical formulas. Although it contains more than one hydrogen atom, acetic acid CH 3 COOH is also a monoprotic acid as it dissociates to release only a single proton.

The following examples are polyprotic acids that either fall under the category of diprotic or triprotic. Share Flipboard Email. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.

how would you determine if you have a mono di or triprotic acid

Chemistry Expert. Helmenstine holds a Ph. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter.

Updated December 09, The acid equilibrium problems discussed so far have focused on a family of compounds known as monoprotic acids. There is usually a large difference in the ease with which these acids lose the first and second or second and third protons.

When sulfuric acid is classified as a strong acid, students often assume that it loses both of its protons when it reacts with water. That isn't a legitimate assumption. Sulfuric acid is a strong acid because K a for the loss of the first proton is much larger than 1.

We therefore assume that essentially all the H 2 SO 4 molecules in an aqueous solution lose the first proton to form the HSO 4 -or hydrogen sulfate, ion. The table below gives values of K a for some common polyprotic acids. The large difference between the values of K a for the sequential loss of protons by a polyprotic acid is important because it means we can assume that these acids dissociate one step at a time an assumption known as stepwise dissociation.

Let's look at the consequence of the assumption that polyprotic acids lose protons one step at a time by examining the chemistry of a saturated solution of H 2 S in water. Hydrogen sulfide is the foul-smelling gas that gives rotten eggs their unpleasant odor. It is an excellent source of the S 2- ion, however, and is therefore commonly used in introductory chemistry laboratories.

H 2 S is a weak acid that dissociates in steps. Some of the H 2 S molecules lose a proton in the first step to form the HS -or hydrogen sulfide, ion. Similarly, the [HS - ] term, which represents the balance between the HS - ions formed in the first step and the HS - ions consumed in the second step, must have the same value for both equations. Four equations are needed to solve for four unknowns. We already have two equations: the K a1 and K a2 expressions.

We are going to have to find either two more equations or a pair of assumptions that can generate two equations. We can base one assumption on the fact that the value of K a1 for this acid is almost a million times larger than the value of K a2. This means that only a small fraction of the HS - ions formed in the first step go on to dissociate in the second step. We need one more equation, and therefore one more assumption.

Polyprotic Acids And Bases

Thus, we can assume that most of the H 2 S that dissolves in water will still be present when the solution reaches equilibrium. In other words, we can assume that the equilibrium concentration of H 2 S is approximately equal to the initial concentration.

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All we need to know is that a saturated solution of H 2 S in water has an initial concentration of about 0. Because K a1 is so much larger than K a2 for this acid, we can work with the equilibrium expression for the first step without worrying about the second step for the moment.

We therefore start with the expression for K a1 for this acid. Substituting this approximation into the K a1 expression gives the following equation.

Substituting this approximation into the K a1 expression gives the following result. We now solve this approximate equation for C. If our two assumptions are valid, we are three-fourths of the way to our goal. Having extracted the values of three unknowns from the first equilibrium expression, we turn to the second equilibrium expression. It is now time to check our assumptions. Is the dissociation of H 2 S small compared with the initial concentration?

Titration of Diprotic and Triprotic Acids

The following assumption is therefore valid. The S 2- ion concentration obtained from this calculation is 10 9 times smaller than the HS - ion concentration.

Thus, our other assumption is also valid. We can therefore summarize the concentrations of the various components of this equilibrium as follows. The techniques we have used with diprotic acids can be extended to diprotic bases. The only challenge is calculating the values of K b for the base.

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The carbonate ion then acts as a base toward water, picking up a pair of protons one at a time to form the bicarbonate ion, HCO 3 - ion, and then eventually carbonic acid, H 2 CO 3. The first step in solving this problem involves determining the values of K b1 and K b2 for the carbonate ion.The name "polyprotic" literally means many protons. Therefore, in this section we will be observing some specific acids and bases which either lose or accept more than one proton.

Then, we will be talking about the equations used in finding the degree of dissociation. Finally, with given examples, we will be able to approach problems dealing with polyprotic acids and bases. Polyprotic acids are specific acids that are capable of losing more than a single proton per molecule in acid-base reactions. Protons are lost through several stages one at each stagewith the first proton being the fastest and most easily lost.

From the table above, we see that sulfuric acid is the strongest. These constants are used to measure the degree of dissociation of hydrogens in the acid. For a more in depth discussion on this, go to Ionization Constants. To find K a1 of Hydrosulfuric acid H 2 Syou must first write the reaction:. This also means that this reaction will produce two equivalence points or stoichiometric points.

The equivalence point, by definition, is the point during an acid-base titration in which there has been equal amounts of acid and base reacted. If we were to graph this, we would be able to see exactly just what two equivalence points looks like. Let's check it out:. Note the multiple equivalence points and notice that they are almost straight lines at that point, indicating equal added quantities of acid and base.

If it is being titrated in a strong acid, the pH will go up as the base is added to it. Conversely, if it is in a strong base, the pH will fall down as acid is added.

Monoprotic Acid Definition

Next, let's take a look at sulfuric acid. This unique polyprotic acid is the only one to be completely deprotonated after the first step:. Now let's try something a little harder.

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