We did a titration lab in class the other day, and it included this experiment. acetic acid + sodium hydroxide ---> sodium acetate + water My teacher then asked to us look at the conjugate base,...

We did a titration lab in class the other day, and it included this experiment.

acetic acid + sodium hydroxide ---> sodium acetate + water

My teacher then asked to us look at the conjugate base, and asked what it will do in water?  The conjugate base is the sodium acetate (I believe), but I'm not sure what it will do in water.

Any help appreciated!! :)

Asked on by cardinal15

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

ncchemist's profile pic

ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted on

We are looking at the following reaction:

CH3CO2H + NaOH --> CH3CO2Na + H2O

This is acetic acid plus sodium hydroxide gives sodium acetate and water.  The acid here is acetic acid.  The conjugate base of the acid is the acetate anion.  So the conjugate base in this particular reaction is sodium acetate.  Sodium acetate is an ionic salt so it will readily dissolve in water and dissociate into sodium cations and acetate anions.  The acetate anion is mildly basic, and if there is any leftover acetic acid in the solution, some of the acetate will act as a base and take the proton from acetic acid to produce more of the conjugate base.  This is an example of an equilibrium reaction, and the reaction will ultimately reach a chemical equilibrium based on the acid dissociation constant for acetic acid.

We’ve answered 318,972 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question