What is the conjugate acid-base relationship of (H2PO4)- and (HPO4)-?

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anor277 Share
Jun 28, 2017


The conjugate base of an acid, any acid, is defined as the acid #"LESS"# a proton, #H^+#. The conjugate acid of a base, any base, is defined as the base #"PLUS"# a proton.


Phosphoric acid, #H_3PO_4#, is the parent acid. If it loses a proton, #H^+#, we conserve both mass and charge, and #H_2PO_4^-# results. And what is the conjugate base of this beasty? Again, conserve mass and charge, and #HPO_4^(2-)# results. You did not conserve mass and charge in your question; I agree that this is all too easy to do.

What is the conjugate base of biphosphate, #HPO_4^(2-)#? This species does not exist in water. And what is the conjugate base of bisulfate, #HSO_4^-# (and this one does exist in water)? Can you tell me the conjugate acid of #H_3PO_4#? Conserve mass, and conserve charge, and these are trivial questions.

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