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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

What Is Hydronium?

By January 19, 2014

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Electric Potential of the Hydronium Ion (Ben Mills)No, it's not the name of some element found only on another planet. Hydronium is what you get when you put water and hydrogen ions together, forming H3O+. Hydronium is the simplest form of oxonium, which is any ion that contains the trivalent oxygen cation. Hydronium is also known as hydroxonium. As with many species in chemistry, the nomenclature isn't the same everywhere.

Where would you find hydronium? You'll find a very small amount in an ordinary glass of water. Hydronium is found in interstellar clouds and in the tails of comets. Interstellar hydronium probably forms as a result of chemical reactions following the ionization of H2 into H2+. Research is ongoing to elucidate the nature of the reactions.

Common Cations | Water Chemistry


May 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm
(1) Andrew says:

You don’t have to leave the planet to find Hydronium. The easiest place you can find it would be in a glass water. You’ll find lots in water with certain salts dissolved in it, but even in completely neutral water you’ll find some as the reaction 2(h2o) Oh- + h3o+ will never go completely to the left.

July 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm
(2) Anonymous says:

If you put any acid in water it will form hydronium, because the acidic H+ will join with the H2O.

August 31, 2010 at 3:34 am
(3) irina says:

Can you find hydronium in all water solutions or only in pure water or water with salt or acid?

December 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(4) hohn says:

Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) is reported to halt muscle function in the human body and it appears that Hydronium does the same thing.
Can this loss of muscle function present in Laminitis in horses?

TY j

December 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm
(5) akshay says:

Can we find hydronium ion in the stratosphere where ozone layer is found?

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