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Ranking Weak Acids in Increasing Strength from $pK_a$ Values

CHEM-BGUGKB

Using the $pK_a$ values below, rank the acids in order of increasing strength.

Acid Logarithm of Acid Dissociation
Constant ($pK_a$)
Acetic acid $\left(\textrm{HC}_2\textrm{H}_3\textrm{O}_2\right)$ $4.74$
Boric acid $\left(\textrm{H}_3\textrm{BO}_3\right)$ $9.24$
Hydrofluoric acid $\left(\textrm{HF}\right)$ $3.14$
Nitrous acid $\left(\textrm{HNO}_2\right)$ $3.40$
Phenol $\left(\textrm{HOC}_6\textrm{H}_5\right)$ $9.80$



Rank the acids in order of increasing strength.

A

Acetic Acid $<$ Boric Acid $<$ Hydrofluoric Acid $<$ Nitrous Acid $<$ Phenol

B

Boric Acid $<$ Acetic Acid $<$ Phenol $<$ Nitrous Acid $<$ Hydrofluoric Acid

C

Boric Acid $<$ Phenol $<$ Acetic Acid $<$ Hydrofluoric Acid $<$ Nitrous Acid

D

Hydrofluoric Acid $<$ Nitrous Acid $<$ Acetic Acid $<$ Boric Acid $<$ Phenol

E

Phenol $<$ Boric Acid $<$ Acetic Acid $<$ Nitrous Acid $<$ Hydrofluoric Acid