5. Gain and Loss of Electrons   Previous PageNext Page
       Oxygen Compounds: Acids or Bases?

Whether a compound containing such an X-O-H group is an acid or a base depends on which bond is stronger, X-O or O-H, as illustrated onthe right.

If X represents an atom of low electronegativity such as lithium, then oxygen pulls the electrons in the X-O bond toward itself, and in aqueous solutions the substance dissociates in the following way:

Because hydroxide ions are produced, the substance is a base. Lithium hydroxide, LiOH, is an example.
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