After using the negative logarithmic value of $\ce{H^+}$ ion concentration, I get a value of pH that results in base. Can you please help me?

Thank you in advance

  • $\begingroup$ Do you know what is the pH of neutral water (with zero HCl)? $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Oct 9 '17 at 15:42

Well this is not pretty difficult, let's go !

Because chloride ions don't react with water we have, $$c_0=\ce{[HCl]=[Cl^-]}\tag1$$

Now for hydrogen ions, $$\ce{[H^+]=[HO^-]}\ce{+[Cl^-]}\tag2$$

We all, must, know that $$K_e=\ce{[H^+][HO^-]}\tag3$$

Then we have $$\ce{[H^+]}^2-c_0\ce{[H^+]}-K_e=0\tag4$$

You'll find your pH solving $(4)$.

Now between theory and practice you may not find a big difference...


When you want to find pH of acid whose concentration is less than 10^(-6) you have to consider water's dissociation as H+ and OH- too. Which is 10^(-7) at 25°C. So concentration of H+ into his case is actually, 10^(-6) + 10^(-7), giving 1.1 x 10^(-6). Which will give you a pH of about 6.9. We usually ignore water's dissociation because it is negligible but in cases like this it becomes necessary to consider it too.


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