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Question Video: Determining How Water Will Act When Dissolving Hydrogen Chloride Chemistry

Fill in the blank: On dissolution of hydrogen chloride in water, water will act as a _ as it _.

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Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. On dissolution of hydrogen chloride in water, water will act as a blank as it blank. (A) Lewis base accepts a proton to form a hydronium ion. (B) Brønsted–Lowry acid accepts a proton to form a hydronium ion. (C) Lewis acid accepts a proton to form a hydronium ion. (D) Brønsted–Lowry base accepts a proton to form a hydronium ion. Or (E) Brønsted–Lowry base donates a proton to form a hydroxide ion.

In this question, we want to know the behavior of water when dissolving hydrogen chloride and whether its behavior fits the definition of a Lewis base or Lewis acid or a Brønsted–Lowry base or Brønsted–Lowry acid. To do this, we first must understand how acids and bases are defined under Lewis theory and Brønsted–Lowry theory. A Lewis acid is a substance that accepts a lone pair of electrons, while a Lewis base donates a lone pair. However, under Brønsted–Lowry theory, an acid is a substance that donates protons or in other words, hydrogen ions, while a Brønsted–Lowry base accepts them.

Keeping these definitions in mind, let’s have a look at the behavior of water when dissolving hydrogen chloride. When hydrogen chloride dissolves in water, it dissociates into hydrogen ions and chloride ions. These hydrogen ions, which we can also refer to as protons, are accepted by water molecules. This forms the hydronium ion and chloride ions. Because water has accepted a proton donated by hydrogen chloride, it is behaving as a Brønsted–Lowry base.

Therefore, the correct answer choice is answer choice (D), with which we can now fill in the blanks. On dissolution of hydrogen chloride in water, water will act as a Brønsted–Lowry base as it accepts a proton to form a hydronium ion.

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