Johnston, Francis J. Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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In the Brönsted-Lowry classification, any chemical species, ionic or molecular, capable of accepting or receiving a proton (hydrogen ion) from another substance. The other substance acts as an acid in giving up the proton. A substance may act as a base, then, only in the presence of an acid. The greater the tendency to accept a proton, the stronger the base. The hydroxyl ion acts as a strong base. Substances that ionize in aqueous solutions to produce the hydroxyl ion (OH), such as potassium hydroxide (KOH) and barium hydroxide [Ba(OH)2], are also conventionally called bases. Water (H2O) acts as a weaker base in reaction (1), where H3O+ is the hydronium ion.
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