anonymous
  • anonymous
Why does dry hydrogen gas have no effect on litmus? Is it because it's neutral?
Chemistry
katieb
  • katieb
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Xishem
  • Xishem
Hydrogen gases aren't acidic when they are dry, as there are no free hydrogen ions. Once a hydrogen gas is dissociated into water, it becomes acidic because the hydrogen ions are now present in the solution.
anonymous
  • anonymous
OH. So hydrogen gas is neutral?
anonymous
  • anonymous
i mean, as a gas, if one ignores the dissolving in water and ionising bit.

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Xishem
  • Xishem
Yes, but understand WHY it's neutral. Acidity is determined by the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. In the case of a hydrogen gas, the hydrogen atoms are bonded and therefore not ions in solution.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Ah. Goddit. Thanks! :)
Xishem
  • Xishem
In other words, something can't have a pH unless it's dissolved in aqueous solution.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Yea, some gases are said to be acidic or basic. Like ammonia is said to be basic and sulphuric oxide is said to be acidic.
anonymous
  • anonymous
but some *
Xishem
  • Xishem
It can be acidic or basic, but it doesn't have a pH. The definition of pH is "A measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution."
anonymous
  • anonymous
OH. Ok then.
Xishem
  • Xishem
You can identify the acidity or basicity of a substance by looking at the acid dissociation constant or I think what is called "base association constant". They are both types of equilibrium constants.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Where do you find such constants?
Xishem
  • Xishem
If you know the concentrations of substances in an equilibrium reaction, more specifically the dissociation of a substance...\[HA ⇌ A^- + H^+\]Where HA is some acid, A is the conjugate base of the acid, and H is a hydrogen ion. You can use...\[K_a=\frac{[A^-][H^+]}{[HA]}\]Where the concentrations are of the concentrations of the substances at equilibrium.

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