Learn more about Amphoterism

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In chemistry, an amphoteric substance is one that can react as either an acid or base.

[edit] Examples

Examples include amino acids, proteins, and water. Many metals (such as zinc, tin, lead, aluminium, and beryllium) and most metalloid have amphoteric oxides.

For example, zinc oxide (ZnO) reacts differently depending on the pH of the solution:

In acids: ZnO + 2H+ → Zn2+ + H2O

In bases: ZnO + H2O + 2OH- → [Zn(OH)4]2-

This effect can be used to separate different cations, such as zinc from manganese.

There are many other examples of chemical compounds which are also amphoteric, for the simplest example water:

BASE (Proton Acceptor): H2O + HCl → H3O+ + Cl

ACID (Proton Donor): H2O + NH3 → NH4+ + OH

(Indeed, it can do both at once: 2H2O → H3O+ + OH)

Aluminum hydroxide is as well:

Acid: Al(OH)3 + 3HCl → AlCl3 + 3H2O

Base: Al(OH)3 + NaOH → NaAl(OH)4

[edit] See also

ca:Amfòter da:Amfoterisk de:Ampholyt fr:Ampholyte ko:양쪽성 it:Anfotero hu:Amfoter nl:Amfoteer no:Amfotær pl:Amfoteryczność ru:Амфотерность fi:Amfolyytti sv:Amfoterisk zh:兩性 (化學)


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