The Ionization of Water Is Expressed by an Equilibrium Constant

The degree of ionization of water at equilibrium (Eqn 2-1) is small; at 25 °C only about two of every 109 molecules in pure water are ionized at any instant. The equilibrium constant for the reversible ionization of water (Eqn 2-1) is

In pure water at 25 °C, the concentration of water is 55.5 m (grams of H2O in 1 L divided by its gram molecular weight: (1,000 g/L)/(18.015 g/mol)) and is essentially constant in relation to the very low concentrations of H+ and OH", namely, 1 X 10-7 m. Accordingly, we can substitute 55.5 M in the equilibrium constant expression (Eqn 2-3) to yield

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