Lowry- Bronsted Theory

      The Bronsted-Lowry theory is an acid-base theory, proposed independently by Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted and Thomas Martin Lowry in 1923. In this system, Brønsted acids and Brønsted bases are defined, by which an acid is a molecule or ion that is able to lose, or "donate" a hydrogen cation (proton, H+), and a base is a species with the ability to gain or "accept" a hydrogen cation (proton).

Water as both base and acid. One H2O acts as a base and gains H+ to become H3O+; the other H2O acts as an acid and loses H+ to become OH-.


              Johannes Brønsted                      Thomas Lowry               


Advantages to the Bronsted-Lowry model of acids and bases:

  • Acids and bases can now be ions or neutral molecules.
  • Acids and bases can now be any molecule with at least one pair of nonbonding electrons.
  • It explains the role of water in acid-base reactions; H2O accepts H+ ions from acids to form H3O+ ions.
  • It can be applied to solutions with solvents other than water and even in reactions that occur in the gas or solid phases.
  • It relates acids and bases to each other with conjugate acid-base pairs and can explain their relative strengths.
  • It can explain the relative strengths of pairs of acids or pairs of bases.

Bronsted Lowry Theory of Acids and Bases - Video:

Bronsted-Lowry Acids & Bases - Presentation:

Acids and Bases Theory - Presentation:

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