Biochemistry at The Biology Project

Acids and Bases Problem Set

Question 1: Water as a solvent

Which of the following properties of water explains its ability to dissolve acetic acid?

A. The high surface tension of water, which is due to the formation of hydrogen bonds between adjacent water molecules.
B. The ability to serve as a buffer, absorbing the protons given off by acetic acid.
C. The ability to orient water molecules so that their polarities neutralize the ions formed when the acid dissociates.
D. The ability to form hydrogen bonds with the carbonyl and the hydroxyl groups of acetic acid.
Because acetic acid is a weak acid, its dissociation in water is incomplete. That portion which does ionize, however, is neutralized in solution when the water molecules orient their partially charged atoms around the ions. The un-ionized portion of acetic acid is also soluble due to its polar character as well as via hydrogen bonds. Thus, multiple solvent properties of water are important to solubilize acetic acid.

[Problem 1] [Tutorial] [Problem 2]

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