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I have seen in my textbook that on cations/anions formed on ionization of salts either exist as hydrated salts in aqueous solutions or interact with water to reform corresponding acids/bases depending upon nature of salts(Hydrolysis). It affects the pH of the solution.

For eg: $$\ce{CH3COONa -> CH3COO-_{(aq)} + Na+_{(aq)}}$$ Acetate ion formed undergoes hydrolysis in water to give acetic acid and $OH^-$ ions. $$\ce{CH3COO-_{(aq)} + H2O <-> CH3COOH_{(aq)} + OH-_{(aq)}}$$

It seems that this topic is oversimplified and needs some further explanation.

Why do some cations/anions interact with water to form corresponding acids and bases instead of existing independently in ionic form? (i.e. Why not acetate ion exist independently instead of reacting with water to form acetic acid?)

Question about the reaction

In the above example, why only the $\ce{CH3COO-}$ ions are getting hydrolysed when there are ${Na^+}$ ions also?


I have seen the post Acidic and alkaline salt solutions: why do some salt form acid/bases while others don't? but it talks about the mechanism of the reaction and doesn't talk about the explaination for hydrolysis so I asked another question.

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marked as duplicate by Mithoron, andselisk, airhuff, Tyberius, Mathew Mahindaratne Jan 12 at 18:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ If existing answer isn't thorough/basic level enough for you, you can comment under it. I don't see reason enough for follow up question - being unsatisfied with existing answer isn't enough. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jan 11 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron I understand that questions of both post are related but my question is about explaination of hydrolyses reaction(cations/anions reacting with water to form acids\bases) and is clearly not an extended question of the previous post. I am not unsatisfied with the answer but the question in the post did'nt address my question because it was different. $\endgroup$ – pranjal verma Jan 12 at 10:14