Why will 2M HCl burn a hole in your shirt whereas the same concentration of acetic acid (vinegar) will not?
This comes down to the very important difference between strong and weak acids. See the explanation below...
This is exactly what is meant when we speak of an acid as being strong or weak.
But, when we consider HCl, every one of the molecules that dissolved into the solution also ionized according to
so, the concentration of
In the case of acetic acid, only a very small percentage (typically 1% or less) of the
In other words, the equilibrium
favours reactants to a large extent. Nearly all the acid remains in molecule form and the concentration of
Because it is the action of the