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Re: Potassium permanganata

> Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 21:28:18 -0400
> From: "Kevin Madsen" <Kevin_Madsen at hotmail_com>
> Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #16
> > After all, acid-base theory would have that water is really a
> > collection of roughly equal parts of H+ and OH- ions...no?
> If you would like to get technical water is equal parts of H30+
> (Hydronium if I am remebering the spelling correctly) and OH-.

Roger has already addressed the main point here, so I'll just tackle the
side issue of notation.  Keep in mind that chemical notation is just that;
notation.  It is a shorthand.  A convenient way to write down complex
things.  In some cases, like this one, a convenient fiction.

Whether someone writes H+ or H3O+ is mainly a matter of notation, not of
substance.  The use of the H3O+ notation just serves as an explicit
reminder that the proton is strongly hydrated and not running around
"bare" in solution.  So, H3O+ and H+ are often used interchangably,
especially when it is more convenient to just use H+ (like in an e-mail
message), because the fact that H+ is hydrated when dissolved in water (as
are all dissolved ions) is implicit anyway.

Furthermore, the H3O+ notation is not really an accurate representation of
the actual solution species anyway.  "Substantial evidence" indicates that
H3O+ is actually bound to 3 additional water molecules.  So if you want to
get really technical you should be writing [H9O4]+, but nobody is going to
do that...