I know that a neutralization reaction (i.e. a reaction between an acid and a base) results in the formation of a salt and water, but when I came to know that $\ce{Fe(OH)3}$ is salt, I began to have doubts:

If bases are ionic compounds that break apart to form a negatively charged hydroxide ion ($\ce{OH-}$) in water, then why is $\ce{Fe(OH)3}$ is salt and not a base?

  • $\begingroup$ Who said that $\ce{Fe(OH)3}$ is not a base? $\endgroup$ – DHMO Sep 6 '16 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Also, it does not break apart to form hydroxide ion in water. $\endgroup$ – DHMO Sep 6 '16 at 17:24

Compounds do not class themselves as either one thing or another. Looking at a specific compound, there will always be classes that it is not, but save very few very simple compounds all will fit at least two classes.

$\ce{Fe(OH)3}$ is both a base and a salt. And a transition metal compound and a hydroxide and …

Let’s take an analogy. To some, I am a friend. To others I am a student. To others again, I am a teacher. I can be all of those, depending on who looks at me.


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