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What Is Dissociation In Chemistry

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What It Means When A Compound Dissociates

What is Dissociation in Chemistry?
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College

A dissociation reaction is a chemical reaction in which a compound breaks apart into two or more components.

The general formula for a dissociation reaction follows the form:

Dissociation reactions are usually reversible chemical reactions. One way to recognize a dissociation reaction is when there is only one reactant but multiple products.

Pka And Dissociation Equilibrium

Acids are divided into solid acids that dissociate in water and weak acids that partially dissociate in water. When an acid dissociates, it releases a proton, making the solution acidic. However, weak acids have two states: dissociated and undissociated , which coexist according to the dissociation equilibrium equation.

The acid dissociation constant is the concentration ratio of both sides under fixed analytical circumstances . The following equation is used to define Ka:

The acids ability to release a proton is expressed by Ka using this equation . The equation also demonstrates how the dissociation state of weak acids varies with the concentration of in the solution. Square brackets show the concentration of various components.

Carboxylic acids with -COOH groups, such as acetic and lactic acids, have a Ka constant of 10-3 to 10-6. As a result, quantifying acidity only in the Ka constant can be complex and confusing.

As a result, the pKa index was created to express the acidity of weak acids, and pKa is defined as follows:

pKa = -log10Ka

For acetic acid , the Ka constant is 0.0000158 however, the pKa constant is 4.8, a more easy formula. Furthermore, the stronger the acid, the lower the pKa value. Lactic acid, for example, has a pKa value of roughly 3.8, indicating that it is a stronger acid than acetic acid.

Weak Acids And Water Dissociation

For weak acids, there is an equivalent situation where the due to acid dissociation is comparable to the due to water dissociation . Water dissociation can contribute to the pH of a weak acid solution if the acid is extremely dilute, very weak, or dilute and weak, unlike strong acids, where it is important only when a very dilute acid is involved.

In an aqueous solution, weak acids dissociate only partially. The pKa = -log . The table below shows some of the weak acids:


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What Is The Difference Between Bond Energy And Dissociation Energy

The key difference between bond dissociation energy and bond energy is that bond energy is the average amount of energy required to break down all the bonds in a compound between the same two types of atoms while bond dissociation energy is the amount of energy needed to break down a particular bond via homolytic

Acid Dissociation Constant From Ph


The pH scale, or power of hydrogen, is a numerical measure of a solutions acidity or basicity. In an aqueous solution, it can be used to compute the concentration of hydrogen ions or hydronium ions . Low pH solutions are the most acidic, whereas high pH solutions are the most basic.

The concentration of free hydrogen ions in an aqueous acid solution is measured by its pH: pH equals -log or -log . The last equation can be rewritten as follows:

The above comparison allows you to determine the relative concentration of acid to conjugate base and estimate the dissociation constant Ka if you know the molar concentration of an acid solution and can detect its pH.

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Acidity In Nonaqueous Solutions

In the following situations, a solvent is more likely to cause ionisation of a dissolved acidic molecule:

  • Its a protic solvent, which means it can create hydrogen bonds.
  • It has a large donor base, indicating that it is a powerful Lewis base.
  • Because of its high dielectric constant , it is an excellent ionic species solvent.
  • The aprotic solvents dimethyl sulfoxide and acetonitrile are frequently used to determine the pKa values of organic compounds .

    In an acidic solvent, acid ionisation is less than in water. When hydrogen chloride is dissolved in acetic acid, for example, it becomes a weak acid. Because acetic acid is a far weaker base than water, this is the case.

    HCl + CH3CO2H Cl + CH3C+2

    acid + base conjugate base + conjugate acid

    What Does Dissociation Feel Like

    People that have experienced or are currently experiencing dissociation or any type of dissociative disorder usually describe the difficulties they have in handling intense emotions, as they feel disconnected from themselves and the world. Their own feelings are distorted, and they experience unexpected mood swings. For example, they feel sad or anxious for unknown reasons. Concentration issues or any other cognitive problems may appear as well. Their perception of reality shifts rapidly: for example, seeing objects around them changing shapes, colors, and sizes or identifying the surroundings as being lifeless or blurry.

    Many described dissociation as feeling like a different person, who was watching their own actions from the outside, fully disconnected, as their own bodies and emotions, feeling like they are no longer in control.

    Regarding their behavior, they tend to feel pressured into acting a certain way, even if they would normally find that type of actions offensive, as their identity shifts constantly throughout a period of time. These personality changes take place often and they include acting like different people, even children, or speaking using multiple voices and tones. This leads to difficulties in expressing who they are and defining themselves.

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    What Is Ka In Chemistry

    The acid dissociation constant is used to differentiate between strong and weak acids. The acid dissociates more as the Ka increases. Strong acids must therefore dissociate more in water. A weak acid, on the other hand, is less likely to ionise and release a hydrogen ion, leading to a less acidic solution.

    The acid dissociation constant, denoted by Ka, is the equilibrium constant of an acids dissociation reaction. This equilibrium constant is a numerical representation of an acids strength in a solution. Ka is often stated in mol/L units.

    Dissociation Of Weak Base

    In Chemistry, What Is a Dissociated Ionic Compound? : Lessons in Chemistry

    For weak monoacid base as BOH, its dissociation according to Arrhenius concept,

    The equilibrium law of equation, dissociation constant Kb of the base as,

    C moles/litre is the initial concentration of the base and is the degree of dissociation, then

    For the weak base, is very small as compared to 1, so equation is written as,

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    What Is Acid Dissociation In Water

    Solvated hydroxide and solvated protons are in equilibrium with liquid water. To define the concentration of these solvated ions in water, we usually use a value related to the equilibrium constant. The Kw constant for water dissociation is 1 x 10-14.

    For acidic and basic solutions, pH and pOH are critical values. The log base 10 of the hydrogen ion concentration or the log base 10 of the hydroxide ion concentration, respectively.

    pH = -log

    pOH = -log

    14 = pH + pOH

    The LeChateliers principle states that adding one of the products to an equilibrium system causes the equilibrium to shift towards reactants. Acids and bases dissolve in water and suppress water dissociation by increasing the concentration of one of the products of water self-ionization, either protons or hydroxide ions.

    Acid and base solutions in water are typically described using pH and pOH. The concentration of solvated protons equals that of solvated hydroxide anions in pure water, and the pH is 7. The pH of acidic solutions is lower, whereas the pH of basic solutions is higher.

    Equation: Degree Of Dissociation Using Amounts In Moles

    The equation of the degree of dissociation is c e

    The table below shows how we could analyze the simple systems we have already looked at. It is straightforward to calculate the amount of undissociated substance. The amount of dissociated substance can be determined by counting complete sets of products of dissociation. When we calculate the degree of dissociation, it is essential that we use the total amount of substance when we perform the division.

    Degrees of dissociation are always in the range of 0 to 1. When performing calculations, care is needed to not count the number of individual pieces. Only the number of units of dissociated substance should be measured regardless of how many pieces the substance dissociates into. We need to count sets of pieces, not the pieces themselves.

    Degrees of dissociation greater than 0 and less than 1 are the most interesting. If something completely dissociates, or does not dissociate at all, then we do not need to consider the degree of dissociation at all.

    We can apply degrees of dissociation to many different types of chemical systems. Here, we will focus on weak acids.

    A weak acid is, by definition, an acid that dissociates incompletely in water. The degree of dissociation is an important characteristic of weak acids. A stronger weak acid will have a higher degree of dissociation than a weaker weak acid.

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    Relative Strength Of Weak Acid

    According to equation dissociation constant of the weak acid is also expressed in terms of the degree of dissociation and total molar concentration of the acid.

    The dissociation of acetic acid is denoted as,

    For weak acid, = very small, therefore 1- is was taken as 1, the above equation written as,

    Here, 1 and 2 = degree of dissociation of the two acids.

    What Is A Pka In Chemistry

    The process of dissociation of table salt (sodium chloride) in water ...

    The acid dissociation constant of a solution is pKa, the negative base-10 logarithm. The pKa value is one method of determining an acids strength. A lower pKa value denotes a more powerful acid.

    For example, a lower number indicates that the acid dissociates more entirely in water. Acetic acid, for example, has a pKa of 4.8, whereas lactic acid has a pKa of 3.8. Lactic acid is more vital than acetic acid based on the pKa values.

    Ka is a quantitative measure of an acids strength in solution. Its a chemical reactions equilibrium constant.

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    Dissociation Of Weak Acid


    There are different concepts put forward for acids and bases, such as Arrhenius, Bronsted Lowry, and Lewis concepts.


    Dissociation means substances dissolved in the solution break the bonds and are converted into ionic forms known as dissociation.


    According to him, dissociation is considered that substance dissociates and is dissolved in water giving hydrogen ions.

    For example, acetic acid dissociates and is dissolved in water which gives hydrogen ions.

    The same for base substance is dissociated into hydroxyl ions when dissolved in water.


    Acid: substance tends to donate a proton.

    Base: substance tends to accept a proton.

    Here, HCl donates a proton to water and therefore acts as an acid, and water accepts a proton and thus acts as a base. But in reverse, chlorine ion accepts a proton, so it behaves as a base. Pairs of substance that gain or loss of proton is called conjugate acid-base.


    In 1923 G.N. Lewis defined acids and bases. According to him species that accepts a pair of electrons is known as acid, and a species that donates a pair of electrons is known as a base.


    Here, NH3 behave as a base because of the tendency to donate lone pair of electron on the nitrogen atom to BF3, and BF3 accept a pair of an electron, so it acts as an acid.

    Dissociation of a weak acid monobasic acid HA in water following equation as,

    = Represent concentration in mole/liter

    Dissociation Chemistry Of Hydrogen Halides In Water



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    How To Calculate Percent Dissociation

    Strong acids and bases completely dissociate when placed in water. That is, the entire acid or entire base separates into ions.

    Weak acids and weak bases, on the other hand, do not completely dissociate in an aqueous solution. The dissociation constant Ka and Kb describes the extent to which they separate:

    Ka = ÷

    Kb = ( ÷

    Ka and Kb can be used to calculate the percentage of a weak acid or weak base that is dissociated in a solution with a known pH and pOH.

    A symbol that denotes percent dissociation is . Dissociation is simply the conversion of a compound into its respective ions in a suitable solvent. The percentage of dissociation of a compound will vary depending on the solvent.

    Step to calculate percent dissociation-

  • To calculate the percentage of dissociation of a compound, divide the mass of the dissociated ions by the total mass of the dissociated and not dissociated compound, then multiply by 100.
  • In general, not all compounds will be soluble in all solvents. Few compounds will be soluble in the sense of dissociating into their respective ions.
  • If we calculate the percent dissociation of acid, we call it acid dissociation, and if we calculate the percent dissociation of a base, we call it base percent dissociation.
  • The percentage of dissociation will be determined by the concentration of the acid, base, or neutral compound.
  • The percentage of dissociation of an acid or a base will be determined by its strength.
  • Read more:

    Difference Between Pka And Pkb

    Chemistry 11 – Dissociation Reactions – Example 1

    Dissociation constants are referred to as pKa and pKb in Chemistry. The acid dissociation constant is pKa, while the base dissociation constant is pKb. These words are used to make working with extreme values easier. The p stands for negative logarithm in these phrases. The main distinction between pKa and pKb is that pKa is the negative logarithm of Ka and pKb is the negative logarithm of Kb.

    pKa vs pKb
    The stronger the acid, the lower the pKa value. The weaker the base, the lower the pKb value.

    The pKa and pKb scales are used to compare the strength of acids and bases. Acid dissociations are given a pKa value. For dissociation of bases, pKb is used. pKa and pKb differ in that pKa is the negative logarithm of Ka, whereas pKb is the negative logarithm of Kb.

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    Write Down The Factors That Influence The Degree Of Ionisation

    Factors influencing the degree of dissociation include:

    • Nature of solute: Strong electrolytes have a degree of dissociation close to one, while weak electrolytes have a degree of dissociation less than one.
    • Nature of solvent: A solvent with a high dielectric constant has a higher degree of dissociation.
    • Dilution: As the solution is diluted, the degree of dissociation increases.
    • Temperature: As the temperature rises, so does the degree of dissociation.
    • Other species addition: The addition of another solute with an ion similar to that of weak electrolyte results in a decrease in the degree of dissociation of the weak electrolyte.
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    Mental Health Disorders Linked To Dissociative Disorders

    As mentioned above, it is very common for people affected by dissociative disorders to also show signs of depression, anxiety, or other psychological disorders such as PTSD/ CPTSD, BPD and ADHD.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that may develop after a person goes through a traumatic event and symptoms include flashbacks, avoidance of reminders and unexpected changes of perspective, being very similar to the dissociative disorders listed above. Complex- PTSD is a medical condition that involves symptoms of PTSD and some additional other symptoms such as finding it difficult to control intense emotions. Dissociation and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are strongly linked and they often occur together. While dissociative disorders result most often from childhood trauma, PTSD develops regardless of age. The symptoms of PTSD may intensify the dissociation mental process.

    Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental illness that consists in distorting the way someone feels about themselves and others, having strong effects on their daily life. People that have Borderline Personality Disorder typically have issues regarding self-image, mood swings, management of feelings, and creating stable relationships with people surrounding them. They also struggle with the fear of neglect, abandonment, and instability. This disorder usually starts in early adulthood. Around 75% to 80% of people facing BPD confirm also experiencing dissociation.

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