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Topic: Strong bases vs solubility?  (Read 13893 times)

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777888

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Strong bases vs solubility?
« on: December 09, 2004, 08:58:13 PM »
How can group 2 hydroxides have low solubility while they are strong bases?

eg. Ca(OH)2(s) <-> Ca2+(aq) + 2OH-(aq)
low solubility=>less ions (mostly solid Ca(OH)2)
strong base=>COMPLETELY dissociate to OH- ions

???

Offline jdurg

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Re:Strong bases vs solubility?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2004, 10:43:19 PM »
Not all group two hydroxides are considered strong bases.  Just like not all the hydrogen halides are considered strong acids.  However, barium and strontium hydroxide are indeed very strong bases.  It's just a matter of how far down in the group they are.  Also, just because something doesn't dissolve in water doesn't mean it's not a strong base.  For calcium hydroxide, the portion that dissolves in water pretty much is 100% dissociated.  It would be considered a weak base if it did dissolve in water but didn't completely dissociate.  Take a look at ammonia.  Ammonia does dissolve quite readily in water, but it doesn't fully react to completely form OH- ions.  You wind with a lot of NH3 in the water.  So the determination of the strength of the base can also depend on how much of it dissociates when it does dissolve in water.  Just because it has a low solubility doesn't make it a weak base.  (Overall, Ca(OH)2 is kind of a mid-level base in terms of strength).
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777888

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Re:Strong bases vs solubility?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 11:15:26 PM »
Thanks! But how can something dissolve without dissociating?

Offline Mitch

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Re:Strong bases vs solubility?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2004, 11:20:10 PM »
Not all acids dissociate completely. Weak acids don't and yet there still dissolved in solvent.
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Offline AWK

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Re:Strong bases vs solubility?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2004, 01:05:27 AM »
Solubility depends on interactions between solute and solvent
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Re:Strong bases vs solubility?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2004, 08:00:32 AM »
Thanks! But how can something dissolve without dissociating?

Well, take a look at sugar.  That dissolves in water but it remains in water as the sugar molecule, not something else.  Or look at acetic acid.  Acetic acid will dissolve in water, but it a good portion of it remains in the water as the pure acid, and only a small bit dissociates into H+ and the acetate ion.
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