What Is H2SO4’s Conjugate Base?

What Is H2SO4’s Conjugate Base?HSO4 is listed as the conjugate base of H2SO4 on the University of Waterloo science page. The conjugate base is hydrogen sulphate, and the chemical name for sulfuric acid is H2SO4. Although HSO4 is an acid, depending on the circumstances, it might be a conjugate acid or a conjugate base.

A basic molecule is not always a conjugate base. When an acid loses a hydrogen ion, it forms compounds known as conjugate bases. Even though these molecules are still acidic in most cases, they can recover the lost hydrogen ion and form the original acid. As a result, discussing conjugate acids and bases in pairs makes the most sense.

The Bronsted-Lowry definition of acids inspired the concept of conjugate acids and bases. Any molecule that can “donate” or “give up” a hydrogen ion is an acid, according to this definition (a proton). Bases are molecules that have the ability to “accept” or “take” a proton.

Sulfuric acid and hydrogen sulphate can never be conjugate bases because sulfuric acid cannot receive another proton. Sulfate is formed when hydrogen sulphate, the conjugate base of sulfuric acid, loses its hydrogen ion (SO4). In this situation, hydrogen sulphate is the sulphate conjugate acid, while sulphate is the sulphate conjugate base.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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