What is the ionization of a strong acid?

1 Answer
Jun 22, 2014

Ionization of an acid is the extent to which it transfers a proton to water in aqueous solution. For a strong acid, this ionization is essentially complete.

Example: Ionization of the strong acid #HCl# is represented by the reaction

#HCl(aq) + H_2O harr H_3O^+(aq) + Cl^(-)(aq)#

Note that this reaction converts two uncharged species into one positive ion and one negative ion (thus, the term ionization).

For strong acids, the equilibrium constant for this reaction lies strongly toward products (#K_a gtgt 1#). For HCl, the value of #K_a# is greater than #10^6#.