Merits of Bronsted Lowry theory of acids and bases

It also considers the acid and bases in a non-aqueous medium, i.e. it is not restricted to an only aqueous medium.

Have also explained acid and base reaction taking place in gaseous and solid medium.

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It also considers bases which do not give OH⁻ ions, like an example, Na₂CO₃, etc.

Bronsted Lowry theory not only considered neutral molecule like hydrochloric acid, ammonia, sodium hydroxide, etc. as acid and bases but also considered certain positive charged ions like hydronium ion, ammonium ion, and hydrated metal cations as acids and certain negative charged ions like halogen ion, acetate ion, phosphate ion, sulfide ion, and carbonate ion as bases.

Demerits of Bronsted Lowry theory of acids and bases
Bronsted Lowry theory fails to explain the reaction between acidic oxides (for example; CO₂, SO₂, SO₃, etc.) and basic oxides (for example; CaO, BaO, MgO, etc.)

Also fails to explain the acidic nature of compounds like BF₃, AlCl₃, etc. which do not have proton to lose.

It cannot explain the acid and base reaction in non-protonic solvents.

The image shows the Bronsted Lowry reaction of hydrochloric acid and ammonia

According to Bronsted Lowry theory,

\rm Acid + Base \rightleftharpoons Conjugate \ base \ + \ Conjugate \ acidAcid+Base⇌Conjugate base + Conjugate acid

An acid is a chemical species that can donate a hydrogen ion (H⁺ ion), also called a proton donor.

A base is a chemical species that can accept hydrogen ion (H⁺ ion), also called as a proton acceptor.

When an acid species loses a proton, it forms a base, called a conjugate base of an acid.

When a base species gain a proton, it forms an acid, called a conjugate acid of a base.

For example, the reaction of hydrochloric acid and ammonia is shown as,

\rm HCl + NH_3 \rightleftharpoons NH_4^+ + Cl^-HCl+NH

Where HCl is an acid and can donate H⁺ ion, NH₃ is a base and can accept H⁺ ion, Cl⁻ is a conjugate base, as when an acid HCl loses a proton (H⁺ ion) it forms the conjugate base of an acid. NH₄⁺ is a conjugate acid, as when a base NH₃ accepts a proton (H⁺ ion) it forms the conjugate acid of a base.

Typically, the conjugate acid is a weak acid, and the conjugate base is a weak base.

Water can act either as an acid or as a base in different reaction thus water is known to show amphoteric behavior.

Like for example, the reaction of acetic acid and water

\rm CH_3COOH + H_2O \rightleftharpoons CH_3COO^-+ H_3O^+CH

Since acetic acid is a carboxylic acid and thus also behaves as Bronsted Lowry acid and water acts as a Bronsted Lowry base.

In the reaction of acetic acid and water, they form acetate ion and the hydronium ion.

Where, acetate ion is a conjugate base of acetic acid and hydronium ion acts as a conjugate acid of water.

Taking another example, like the hydrolysis of ammonia also called a reaction of water and ammonia.

\rm H_2O + NH_3 \rightleftharpoons OH^- + NH_4^+H

Since ammonia a base and thus acts as Bronsted Lowry base and here the water is acting as Bronsted Lowry acid.

In the hydrolysis reaction of ammonia, water and ammonia react to form hydroxide ion and ammonium ion.

Where hydroxide ion acts as the conjugate base of Bronsted Lowry acid water and ammonium ion acts as conjugate acid of Bronsted Lowry base ammonia.

From the reaction of acetic acid with water and reaction of ammonia with water, it is proved that water can act as acids as well as bases according to Bronsted Lowry theory. Thus water is amphoteric in nature.


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