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Suppose I take three bases in a solution, $\ce{NaOH}$, $\ce{Na2CO3}$ and $\ce{NaHCO3}$, and I titrate this solution with $\ce{HCl}$. Since the strengths of the bases are different, does it mean that $\ce{HCl}$ would first react with the strongest base completely and then start reacting with the next strongest base?

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  • $\begingroup$ I would think that it would react with all three of them at once (since all of those bases give off $\ce{OH-}$ which $\ce{HCl}$ can react with), but you would find the $\ce{NaOH}$ go away first since it dissociates more completely. $\endgroup$ – Sparkery Jan 26 '15 at 23:12
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This is perhaps not the best example, since hydroxide ion will react with bicarbonate ion to form carbonate ion, and also as you titrate carbonate ion note that it will form bicarbonate again. But, generally, yes, the strongest base will be consumed first as you titrate. The titration curve will tell you the amounts of the bases present and the pKas of their conjugate acids.

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