The outer shells of two eggs are removed. One is kept in water and the other in dil. HCl. What will one observe? Why?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The egg shell placed in the water will produce no noticeable observation.  Water has a pH of 7, which places it in a neutral position on the pH scale.  Water will tend to hold onto it's hydrogen ions and therefore offer no available potential to produce a chemical change.

Dilute hydrochloric acid, on the other hand, is a weak acid, somewhere in the vicinity of 4 to 6 on the pH scale.  This means it will dissociate into hydrogen ions (H+) and chlorine ions (Cl-).  The egg shell has a high concentration of calcium, which will combine in solution with the chlorine ions to form calcium chloride, a salt.  The shell will noticeably dissolve, leaving behind the cell membrane, a rubbery, pliable substance that once served to house the interior of the egg.

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