How is the #"Bronsted Lowry"# theory of acidity formulated?

1 Answer
Jan 5, 2017

Answer:

The physical chemists, Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted in Denmark and Thomas Martin Lowry in England, independently proposed an acid-base theory that carries their names.

Explanation:

In their conception of acid base behaviour, an acid and a base exchanged a proton, #H^+#, to form a #"conjugate acid"# and #"conjugate base"#. The acid was the proton donor, and the base, the proton acceptor. And thus in the autoprotolysis of water, the water molcule was simultaneously the acid and the base:

#2H_2O rightleftharpoonsH_3O^(+) + ""^(-)HO#.

And for a stronger acid, such as #HX#,

#HX(aq) + H_2O(l) rightleftharpoons H_3O^(+) + X^-#

it is clear which is the acid, the proton donor, and which is the base, the proton acceptor.

I once asked a Dane who was quite an accomplished linguist what was the difference in pronounciation between #"Brønsted"#, and #"Bronsted"#. He just laughed and told me not to bother.