Salts with Basic Ions


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Basic ions. Salt, Hand, Food, White

Salts with Basic Ions (OpenStax Chemistry 2e)

Consider dissolving sodium acetate in water:

The sodium ion does not undergo appreciable acid or base ionization and has no effect on the solution pH. This may seem obvious from the ion’s formula, which indicates no hydrogen or oxygen atoms, but some dissolved metal ions function as weak acids, as addressed later in this section.

The acetate ion, CH3CO2−, is the conjugate base of acetic acid, CH3CO2H, and so its base ionization (or base hydrolysis) reaction is represented by

Because acetic acid is a weak acid, its Ka is measurable and Kb > 0 (acetate ion is a weak base).

Dissolving sodium acetate in water yields a solution of inert cations (Na+) and weak base anions (CH3CO2−), resulting in a basic solution.


Flowers, P., Theopold, K., Langley, R., & Robinson, W. R. (2019, February 14). Chemistry 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at:


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