Write the equation representing the ionization of sulfuric acid.
Sulfuric acid or `H_2SO_4`is a strong acid and ionizes in two steps. In the first step, one proton is donated and the chemical equation for this step can be written as:
`H_2SO_4 -> H^+ + HSO_4^-`
In the second step, another proton is lost and we obtain the sulfate ion. The chemical equation for this step is given as:
`HSO_4^(-) -> H^+ + SO_4^(2-)`
The overall ionization reaction is the sum of these two steps and can be written as:
`H_2SO_4 -> 2H^+ + SO_4^(2-)`
Thus, when sulfuric acid ionizes, it releases two protons and one sulfate ion, as per the above written equation.
The two step process is necessary because of two protons. In comparison, a strong acid like hydrochloric acid ionizes in a single step to release a proton and a chloride ion.
Hope this helps.
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