What is the order of acidity of chloroacetic, acetic, formic and propanoic acid in terms of their electronegativity and inductive effect?
This is my explanation:
Propanoic acid is the weakest acid here due to having lesser electronegative atoms compared to the other acids. Comparing propanoic acid with the next weakest acid, acetic acid, acetic acid is slightly more acidic due to the greater. This is due to the greater inductive effect on carbon from the carboxyl group which will push oxygen’s electron away, so the hydrogen from the -OH group will be more bound to oxygen means it will be less acidic.
The next more acetic acid is formic acid. Comparing formic acid and acetic acid, acetic acid is the weaker acid as the methyl group in acetic acid is electron donating. This causes a positive inductive effect on the carbon and thus the electron density around the oxygen atom increases and therefore it is more difficult for acetic acid to release hydrogen protons. Therefore, formic acid is a stronger acid than acetic acid.
Lastly, chloroacetic acid is the strongest acid among this group as it contains a chlorine ion. The chlorine ion is highly electronegative and thus as a negative inductive effect which decreases the electron density around the -OH bond in the carboxyl group which makes it easy for hydrogen protons to dissociate in chloroacetic acid.
I've been told that this is a weak explanation for it. How do I improve it? Or where did I explain wrongly?