Amphoteric

A substance that can act as either an acid or a base in a reaction.

e.g. aluminum hydroxide can neutralize mineral acids:

Al(OH)3 + 3 HCl = AlCl3 + 3 H2O

or strong bases

Al(OH)3 + 3 NaOH = Na3AlO3 + 3 H2O


See also: Acid, Base.

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Subjects: Chemistry