I've read about this in a booklet, but I can't find its stepwise reactions or its derivation:

$$\ce{AgOH + NaOH -> Ag2O}$$

And how does a base ($\ce{AgOH}$) react with another base ($\ce{NaOH}$)? Could someone please explain?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ $\ce{AgOH}$ is rather unstable and forms $\ce{Ag2O}$ even upon hydrolysis, and it's also amphoteric. I don't know what makes you uncomfortable here, but I suspect that you assume that presence of $\ce{OH}$ in formula would always mean it's a base and a base only. Well, it's not true: amphoteric hydroxides aside, there are alcohols, and even sulfuric acid's formula can be written as $\ce{HSO3OH}$, which doesn't mean it's a base either. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ I have no idea, that wasn't me. Perhaps it's considered as a homework question due to the lack of research from your side. On average the votes are decently fair here though, try to participate more actively, if you want your xp to grow up:) $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ What effort am I supposed to show in a straight forward reaction? And yes, I wasn't blaming you. Sorry. $\endgroup$
    – user166465
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ No need to apologize, asking for a reason why you receive down-votes is fine. For the future, I would've refered to wikipedia page where formation of $\ce{Ag2O}$ is described, and explain that you understand this and this, but that particular thing is unclear to me. It would show your level of understanding and that you did some research beforehand, plus it would help to answer the question more precisely and not just give common comments like I did:) $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


When silver(I) hydroxide is reacted with sodium hydroxide, the excess of hydroxide ion result in formation of hydroxo complex predicted to be $\ce{Na[Ag(OH)2]}$. But the reaction is not so simple. This complex is actually a simplified form of the product that is formed. But it is actually a non-stochiometric form of silver oxide. It is unstable and decompose to form silver oxide hydrate and further to silver oxide. It is explained here:

The situation with silver ions is somewhat complicated. When silver comes in contact with hydroxide, and no complexing agent is available, then something is formed, which sometimes is referred to as $\ce{AgOH}$. This is not correct. But $\ce{Ag2O}$ also is not correct. $\ce{Ag2O}$ is a black solid, when silver (I) is added to hydroxide, then a fairly light brown solid is formed. What happens is that an hydrated form of silver oxide is formed, so a better formula is $\ce{Ag2O.xH2O}$, but the real structure of the compound is very complicated. It really is another compound than $\ce{Ag2O}$, but it also certainly cannot be written correctly as $\ce{AgOH}$. I think, in reality, it will be a complex structure with indeterminate stoichiometry, containg $\ce{Ag+}$ ions, $\ce{OH-}$ ions, $\ce{O^2-}$ ions and water molecules, and the only thing which can be said is that it has average formula $\ce{Ag2O.xH2O}$.

Similar question: What is solubility of silver oxide in NaOH and KOH


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