Conservation of protons


Conservation of Protons In an acid–base reaction, the reaction unit is the proton. For an acid, the number of reaction units is given by the number of protons that can be donated to the base; and for a base, the number of reaction units is the number of protons that the base can accept from the acid. In the reaction between H3PO4 and NaOH, for example, the weak acid H3PO4 can donate all three of its protons to NaOH, whereas the strong base NaOH can accept one proton. Thus, we write

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