Sulfuric acid is a strong acid and a dibasic acid. Also, sulfuric acid is a very common acid in laboratories and used in lot of applications. Sulfuric acid solution gives
low pH values in aqueous solutions. When concentration of H_{2}SO_{4} is known in units of mol dm^{-3}, pH value can be calculated easily by pH equation.

Sulfuric acid is a strong acid and completely dissociates to ions in the water. Usually dilute
sulfuric acid shows low pH values like HCl acid and
HNO_{3}
acid.

You can enter concentration of sulfuric acid in mol dm^{-3} in following input box
to find pH of the solution.

*Note that, in this on-line calculator, we consider both dissociation of sulfuric acid are complete.
If you are said that second dissociation is an incomplete one, you cannot use this online
calculator.*

Also, dissociation of water is considered as negligible. Therefore no
H_{3}O^{+} ions given by water. Also in very low concentrations of sulfuric
acid such as 0.0000001 mol dm^{-3}, 0.0000008 mol dm^{-3} are cannot be
calculated in this calculator.

Answer

Sulfuric acid can give two H^{+} ions. That means, one sulfuric acid molecule can reacts with two hydroxyl ions.

H_{2}SO_{4} → 2H^{+} + SO_{4}^{2-}

*H ^{+} ions can be expressed as H_{3}O^{+} ions.*

According to the stoichiometry, concentration of H^{+} ions is twice as H_{2}SO_{4} concentration.

[H^{+}] = 2 * [H_{2}SO_{4}]

Substitute H^{+} concentration to the pH equation.

pH = -log_{10}[H^{+}_{(aq)}]

We are going to tabulate pH values of some sulfuric acid solutions with their concentrations. These values are theoretical and may have different from slightly from real solution.

Concentration of sulfuric acid in mol dm^{-3} |
pH |
---|---|

1 | -0.301 |

0.1 | 0.6989 |

0.05 | 1.000 |

0.01 | 1.6989 |

- 0.1 M HCl
- 0.06 M H
_{2}SO_{4} - 0.11 M CH
_{3}COOH - 0.11 M HNO
_{3}

In above list, four acids are given. From those acids, HCl, H_{2}SO_{4} and HNO_{3} are strong acids and CH_{3}COOH is the only weak acid.

Any acid's pH value decreases when concentration of H+ ions given by the acid increases. Though CH_{3}COOH concentration is high, its pH value is higher because it is a weak acid give a very low H+ ions to water. So CH_{3}COOH can be removed from correct choices.

*Now, which solution will give higher H+ ion concentration.*

Sulfuric acid gives 0.12 M H+ ion concentration which is higher than H^{+} ion concentration of HCl and HNO_{3} acid solutions. So lowest pH value is shown by H_{2}SO_{4} acid due to its dibasic characteristic.

Questions

For this question, we can give two answers in two methods and they are explained below as case 1 and case 2.

Case 1. We can consider sulfuric acid with complete two dissociationa: It means, sulfuric acid release its both H^{+} ions completely in aqueous solution and the equation is given below.

H_{2}SO_{4} → 2H^{+} + SO_{4}^{2-}

OR

Case 2. First dissociation is complete and second dissociation is partial, these equations are given below.

H_{2}SO_{4} → H^{+} + HSO_{4}^{-}

HSO_{4}^{-} ⇌ H^{+} + SSO_{4}^{2-}

How to find pH for these two cases?

Case 1: Finding pH for case 1 is easy. Find H+ concentration and substitute it to pH equation.

- H
^{+}concentration = H_{2}SO_{4}concentration * 2 - H
^{+}concentration = 0.00896 * 2 - H
^{+}concentration = 0.01792 M

- pH = -log[H+]
- pH = -log[0.01792]
- pH = 1.74

**Case 2:** In this case, we think first dissociation is complete and secod dissociation is partial. Due to second dissocation is partial, we assume H+ concentration is given only by first dissociation.

- H
^{}concentration = H_{2}SO_{4}concentration - H
^{+}concentration = 0.00896 M

- pH = -log[H+]
- pH = -log[0.00896]
- pH = 2.047

Because you know the pH value, you can calculate the H^{+} ion concentration. When you know the H^{+} ion concentration, H_{2}SO_{4} concentration can be found.

Then, you can find amount and mass of H_{2}SO_{4} in a certain value. But, you need to know the density of the solution to calculate the mass of solution. When you know the density, you can calculatee thr mass percentage of H_{2}SO_{4}.

If sulfuric mass fraction is 50%, you can know the concentration of sulfuric acid. But, you need to know the density of the solution.

But, you need to know whether, will concentrated sulfuric acid show strong acid characteristics as the dilute acid. Otherwise we have to consider dissociation constant to calculate pH of 50% sulfuric acid.

Usually dilute sulphuric acid solutions shows very less pH values 1, 2.1 ,3.66. If concentrated sulphuric acid solutions are measured, pH may be a negative one.

When you know pH, you can calculate concentration of H_{3}O^{+} ions from pH equation.

Due to pH = 1, H_{3}O^{+} concentration is 0.1 mol dm^{-3}. Due to dibasic acid, when sulfuric acid molecule dissociate, two H_{3}O^{+} ions are given. Therefore, concentration of sulfuric acid should be a half of concentration of H_{3}O^{+}.

concentration of sulfuric acid at pH 1 is 0.05 mol dm^{-3}

Sulfuric acid shows very low pH value. Same concentration sulfuric acid show low pH value than HCl acid.

Sulfuric acid can release two H^{+} ions. But HCl can release only one H^{+} ion. So H^{+} concentration of sulfuric acid is high. So pH value also low in sulfuric acid solution.

IF we consider sulfuric acid as a strong acid which dissociates completely to release H^{+} ions. Therefore, concentration of H^{+} is 2.0 M. You can find pH by substituting in pH equation. As the answer, pH = -0.3 will be given.

To calculate the density, you need to know mass and volume of the solution. Usually, in commercial sulfuric acid bottles, density is mentioned in the lable. Otherwise you have to measure mass of certain volume of sulfuric acid solution and calculatte the density.

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