I"m watching some (really awesome) yellowcomic.com courses, and I think I have actually a relatively decent handle on acids and bases (or maybe not, and also I"m fooling myself). However the teacher just showed a table the weak/strong acids. $\ceHSO4-$ was among them.

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I"m wondering, why hydrogen sulfate ion instead of simply hydrogen sulfate? Why is $\ceHSO4-$ one acid and also $\ceHSO4$ reportedly isn"t? This to be the only ion on the table. Or does $\ceHSO4$ just not exist?


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The bisulfate molecule doesn"t exist in solution. I can only uncover references to the hydrogen sulfate molecule as component of salts, which suggests that hydrogen sulfate is usually found as one ion.

The bisulfate (hydrogen sulfate) ion is undoubtedly an acid. The is a reasonably strong weak acid too, v a $\ceK_a$ value of $1.2 * 10^-2$.

Part the the factor for that acidity needs to do through its electronegative oxygens isolationg electron density away indigenous the hydrogen atom bonded to the oxygen. This renders the hydrogen an ext partially positive and thus more reactive (more most likely to it is in taken by a base).

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I notification that over there is no mention of polyprotic mountain in the various other answers!

$\ceH2SO4$ (sulfuric acid) is diprotic - definition it has actually two "detachable" proton which deserve to come turn off in aqueous solution. The very first one is strongly acidic - the $Ka = 2.4 × 10^6$ - this way the odds of finding a non-dissociated $\ceH2SO4$ molecule in solution are something like 1 the end of 2.4 million.

On the other hand, the second proton is weakly acidic - the $Ka = 1.0 × 10^-2$. This means that there will mostly be $\ceHSO4-$ rather of $\ceSO4^2-$ in solution (roughly 100 times as much).

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The various other answers are correct in saying that $\ceHSO4$ does not exist in solution - however it is vital to establish that we list the bisulfate ion ($\ceHSO4-$) as a weak acid because it is the conjugate basic of sulfuric acid, and is consequently the conjugate mountain of the sulfate ion. This becomes an extremely important once you start to examine acid/base equilibria.