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Solution: Which is a stronger base, S2 -  or Se2-?

Problem

Which is a stronger base, S2 -  or Se2-?

Solution

We are asked which is the stronger base, S2- or Se2-.

The conjugate base of an acid is the species formed after an acid donates a proton. The general reaction is as follows:

                                  Acid + Base  Conjugate Base + Conjugate Acid


The strengths of conjugate bases of binary acids are based on the electronegativity of the nonmetal in the binary acid. 

conjugate base is considered stronger when its binary acid is weaker. 


Given:

S2-              Se2-            

The binary acids counterparts are:

   H2S               H2Se

The reaction forming the conjugate bases are:

  H2S +H2 H3O+ + S2-

  H2Se + H2 H3O+ + Se2-


We’ll rank their strength based on the electronegativity of the nonmetal in each binary acid.

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