Strong/Strong Titration


In order to start a bloody assault on Mt. Death Test, you gottaget skillz wit da basics, and by basics we mean strong acid addedto strong base titration and visa versa (best Italian accentplease).


The first step in doing any titration, includingtitrations of the strong/strong variety, is recognizing whetherthe acids/bases involved are weak or strong. After this firststep, however, there really isn't much more preparation to bedone with a strong/strong titration than to jump into the math. Instead of getting preoccupied with issues of the size of K,which probably demands some worthless memorization of numbers,you simply have to nail down a list of six strong acids and a fewstrong bases (memorize this list and you're money). Thefollowing are the six and only six strong acids you'll ever needto worry about:


  1. HCl
  2. H2SO4
  3. HNO3
  4. HI
  5. HBr
  6. HClO4


Here's a pop quiz (The D stands for distraughtstudent, the Mc stands for the wise voice of the ever-patient Mr.McAfoos):

D: Is H3PO4 a strong acid?
Mc: Is it on the list?
D: Is HNO3 a strong acid?
Mc: Is it on the list?

Got the point? Good.


Strong bases come in the form of an alkali metal + OH¯. These includebut are not limited to:


  1. NaOH
  2. KOH
  3. LiOH


Note: If you remember that NH3 is a weak base, that's probablyall you need to know.


Okay, so now you know you've got a strong acid and a strong base.Now what? The cool thing about strong acids and bases is thatthey ionize to a point so near completion that you don't have toworry about side reactions, reverse reactions, etc. (A note offoreshadowing should be taken- you'll see what we mean). Thefour keys to your average strong/strong problem are:


  1. Organization
  2. MAVA = MBVB
  3. pH= -log[H30+]
  4. pH + pOH = 14


Pretty tough, eh? This problem should quell some of those nightmares keeping you up at night.


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