In This Chapter
Defining acids and bases
Comparing acidities of organic molecules
Seeing pKa values
Predicting the directions of acid-base equilibria
You’ve surely done some acid-base chemistry in your lifetime, or at least observed some. Have you ever put lemon juice on fish to neutralize the fishy odors? Have you ever made a bottle rocket or fake volcano using baking soda and vinegar? Have you ever baked bread, cookies, or cakes? If so, then you’ve done acid-base chemistry. Certainly, you’ve dealt with acids and bases at some point. Foods such as tomatoes, oranges, lemons, sodas, and coffee are acidic, while household items such as bleach, ammonia, baking soda, and soaps are basic.
In fact, almost every reaction in organic chemistry involves acid-base chemistry — almost every one of them. Understanding how acids and bases work, therefore, is critical in understanding the reactions of organic molecules.
In this chapter, I define acids and bases using the three prominent definitions in use today. I show you how you can qualitatively predict ...