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

A boron ion, , would pull even more strongly on the lone pairs of the water molecules around it, as shown on the right.

The attraction would be so great that covalent, electron-pair bonds would form between B and O, thereby weakening one O-H bond on each water molecule and allowing a proton to fall away. The result would be borate ions, .

What can be accomplished only in basic solution for Be, happens even in neutral solution for B.

A ion is only a hypothetical entity in solution because its conversion to borate ions would be instantaneous.

A ion would be even more intolerable in water solution. It would pull so strongly on lone pairs of the water molecules around it that both of the protons from the water molecules would be released.


Because of the gradual shrinkage of atomic radii from Li to F, there is only room for three water molecules or oxygen atoms around a carbon atom, so after carbon had taken oxygens from three water molecules, it would exist as a carbonate ion, (see right). We will come back to the nature of the bonds between C and O later.

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