IGCSE Coordinated Science: Types of Oxides

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8.2 Types of Oxides

1 Classify oxides as either acidic or basic, related to metallic and non-metallic character of the other element.

Oxides are compounds composed of oxygen and another element.

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Basic Oxides

Copper (II) oxide is called a basic oxide since it can neutralize an acid:

Base + Acid —> Salt + Water

CuO (s) + 2HCl (aq) —> CuCl2 (aq) + H2O (l)

Iron (III) Oxide and magnesium also behaves in a similar way- they also neutralize acids, and therefore they are basic oxides.

Generally, metals react with oxygen to form basic oxidees.

Acidic Oxides

Carbon Dioxide is slightly soluble in water as the solution will turn litmus paper red, which makes Carbon Dioxide acidic. 

CO2 + H2O —> H2CO3

Sulfur dioxide and phosphorus pentoxide also dissolve in water to form acids, so therefore, they are also acidic oxides.

Generally, non-metals react with oxygen to form acidic oxides.

2 Further classify some other oxides as neutral, given relevant information.

  • Some oxides of non-metals are neither acidic nor basic.
  • These are called neutral oxides.
  • Neutral oxides neither react with acids or bases.

Examples Include:

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Dinitrogen Oxide


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