What do you mean by conjugate acid-base pair ?

Author: Tanmay Chakrabarty

First Published On: Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 9:12 PM

           Conjugate acid-base : The base formed by the donation of a single proton by an acid is called the conjugate base of the acid. Similarly, the acid formed by the acceptation of a single proton by a base is called the conjugate acid of the base.

           Conjugate acid-base pair : The acid and the conjugate base, that are related to each other by donating and accepting a single proton are said to constitute a conjugate acid-base pair.

                                               HCl + H2O Cl+ H3O+

           From the above reaction, we can see that, acid HCl gives up its proton and produced a new base Cl. Thus Cl is the conjugate base of the acid HCl, and HCl and Cl is a conjugate acid-base pair. Similarly the original base H2O accepted the proton and produced the acid H3O+, which is conjugate acid. Thus H3O+ and H2O is a conjugate acid-base pair.

          An original strong acid or base has a respectively weak conjugate base or acid and vice versa. That can be shown by the following reaction,



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