Upon dissolution in water, does sodium acetate give a BASIC or an ACIDIC solution?

1 Answer
Feb 13, 2017

Answer:

Sodium acetate gives a slightly basic aqueous solution........

Explanation:

........which we may represent by the equation:

#"H"_3"CC(=O)O"^(-) + "H"_2"O(l)" rightleftharpoons "H"_3"CC(=O)OH(aq)"+""^(-)"OH"#

The conjugate base of a weak acid, by definition, competes fairly strongly for the proton, and thus gives rise to a slightly basic aqueous solution. Given the #"pK"_a# of #"acetic acid"#, and a starting concentration, the #"pH"# of the resultant solution may be calculated. How does the #"pK"_a# of #"acetic acid"# relate to the #"pK"_b# of #"acetate ion"#?