What do you understand by the term ’auto-protolysis’ of water? What is its significance?
Autoprotolysis (self-ionization) of water is a chemical reaction in which two water molecules react to produce a hydroxide ion (OH–) and a hydronium ion (H3O+).
The reaction involved can be represented as:
`H_2O_(l) + H_2O_(l) " ↔ " H_3O_((aq))^(+) + OH_((aq))^(-)`
Hydronium ion Hydrooxide ion
Auto-protolysis of water indicates its amphoteric nature i.e., its ability to act as an acid as well as a base.
The acid-base reaction can be written as:
`H_2O_(l) + H_2O_(l) " ↔ " H_3O_((aq))^(+) + OH_((aq))^-`
(Acid) (Base) (Conjugate acid) (Conjugate acid)