In chemistry, protonation refers to the addition of protons ( hydrogen nuclei / cations ) to a chemical compound as part of an acid-base reaction . One or more positive charges are added to the target molecule, depending on the number of protons transferred . The compound that has taken up the protons is called the protonated compound . The opposite process, the splitting off of protons from a compound, is called deprotonation .
- Protonation of compound B by the acid HA , which is deprotonated in the process.
The prerequisite for the process of protonation is the presence of an acid and a base as defined by Brønsted and Lowry . The acid strength - represented by the pK S value - and the base strength ( pK B ) determine whether the balance on the side of the protonated or unprotonated compound is.
The protonation of a compound can be influenced by steric factors.
- Hydrogen chloride gives off a proton to the ammonia molecule. This is a negatively charged are chloride - anion and a positively charged ammonium - cation formed.
Protonation is a reaction step that has been widely observed and used. It is often used to activate a chemical compound for subsequent reactions . But they are also used to ionize compounds , for example in the context of a mass spectrometric analysis.
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