Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction that results to molecules of water (H2O) being divided into hydrogen cations H+ and hydroxide anions (OH−) in the process of a chemical reaction. The cation is usually known as protons. Hydrolysis is the kind of reaction that is used to break down definite polymers, principally those prepared by step-growth polymerization. Such dilapidation of polymer is frequently catalyzed by either acid or alkali example concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) respectively.

Types of hydrolysis

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which a particular molecule is divided into two parts with the addition of one molecule of water. One part of the reacting molecule gains a hydrogen ion (H+) through the water molecule added. The remaining part takes up the other hydroxyl group (OH−).

The most widespread hydrolysis takes place when a salt of a weak acid or /and a weak base is dissolved in water. Water automatically ionizes into negative hydroxyl ions and positive hydrogen ions. The salt splits into positive and negative ions. For instance, sodium acetate in water dissociates into sodium and acetate ions. Sodium ions react sparingly with hydroxyl ions while acetate ions join with hydrogen ions to form neutral acetic acid, and the overall result is a comparative overload of hydroxyl ions, resulting to a basic solution.

Nevertheless, under standard conditions, just a small number of reactions occur between water and organic compounds. Commonly, strong acids or bases have to be incorporated to be able to attain hydrolysis where water has no consequence. The acid or base would act as a catalyst. They are used to hasten up a reaction but they remain unchanged at the end of the reaction.

Acid–base catalyzed hydrolyses reaction are extremely widespread. An instance is the hydrolysis of amides or esters. Their hydrolysis takes place when the nucleophile ie nucleus hunting agent, for example water or hydroxyl ion reacts with the carbon of the carbonyl group of the ester or amide. In an aqueous base solution, hydroxyl ions are more of better nucleophile than dipoles like water. In acid, the carbonyl group becomes protonated which results to a better nucleophilic attack. The products for the two types of hydrolysis reaction are compounds with carboxylic acid groups.

Acidic, Basic, and Neutral Salts

Some examples of Ions of Neutral Salts


Na+ + K+ Rb+ Cs+

Mg2+ Ca2+ Sr2+ Ba2+


Cl- Br- I-,

ClO4- BrO4- ClO3- N03-

A salt is a compound formed when an acid is reacted with a base. Normally, a neutral salt is formed when a strong acid neutralizes a strong base in the reaction. See example below:

H+ + OH- = H2O

The passerby ions in an acid-base reaction result into a salt solution. The majority of neutral salts contain cations and anions listed below: They have less affinity with water. Therefore, salts that contain any of these ions are neutral salts. For instance: NaCl, KNO3, CaBr2, CsClO4 are neutral salts.

Acidic Ions

NH4+ Al3+ Pb2+ Sn2+

Transition metal ions

HSO4- H2PO4-

Basic Ions

F- C2H3O2- NO2- HCO3-

CN- CO32- S2- SO42-

HPO42- PO43-

During a reaction between weak acids and bases, the comparative strength of the reacting acid-base pair in the salt establishes the pH of the solutions. The salt, or the solution of the salt formed can either be acidic, neutral or basic. Acid salt is formed between a strong acid and a weak eg. NH4Cl.Abasic salt is formed between a weak acid and a strong base .eg. NaCH3COO.

Hydrolysis of Acidic Salts

Acid salt is formed between a strong acid and a weak eg. NH4Cl. Ammonia is a weak base, and a salt of ammonia with every strong acid result to a solution with a pH below 7. For instance in the reaction between hydrocholic acid and ammonia below:

HCl + NH4OH = NH4+ + Cl- + H2O

Here, the NH4+ ion reacts with water through the process of hydrolysis as shown in the equation below:

NH4+ + H2O = NH3 + H3O+ .

The acidity constant can be obtined from Kw and Kb.

[H3O+] [NH3] [OH- ]

Ka = —————- ——

[NH4+] [OH-]

= Kw / Kb

= 1.00e-14 / 1.75e-5 = 5.7e-10. Where a =acid, b =base and w = water.

Author: TheGoldendiamond

Follow Us on Instagram **** Twitter **** Youtube **** Facebook **** Contact Us ***** google+

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s