Here's the deal. Hydrolysis is when something reacts with water. That's exciting, you say? Well, it's not, but guess what? It's on the test. Not always, but a lot of the time, and when it is on the test, Mr. McAfoos does his best to give you a headache with it.

So what exactly is the point to hydrolysis? Well, when you put a salt in water, what happens? It dissolves, and when the ions react with the water molecules, all sorts of fun stuff happens. And, if the ions are, say, a weak acid and a weak base, it gets even better.

Here are the steps for doing a hydrolysis problem:
  1. Identify the reactions going on in solution.
  2. Find the equilibrium constants for each possible reaction.
  3. Pick the reaction with the biggest K.
  4. Find the concentration of H+ or OH¯ in the solution as a result of the reaction.

Feeling a little out of it? Let's look at a problem.

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