Beryllium oxide is an inorganic oxide of beryllium with chemical formula BeO. Sulphurous acid (H_{2}SO_{3}) is a colorless mineral acid. Let us study the reaction between H_{2}SO_{3} and BeO_{.}

**BeO is a white crystalline acidic oxide found naturally in Bromellite mineral. It is the only amphoteric oxide among Group I and II metal oxides. BeO has excellent electrical insulating properties. H _{2}SO_{3 }is a corrosive, oily liquid and is an intermediate product in acid rain formation.**

In this article, let us learn about various properties based on the reaction H_{2}SO_{3 }+ BeO, like the product formed, the type of reaction, titration, buffer solution, conjugate pairs etc.

## What is the product of H_{2}SO_{3} and BeO?

**Beryllium sulphite (****BeSO _{3}**

**) and water**

**(H**

_{2}O)**are the products when beryllium oxide reacts with sulphurous acid.**

**BeO**_{ }**+ H _{2}SO_{3}**

_{ }–>**BeSO**

_{3}+ H_{2}O## What type of reaction is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is categorized as a neutralization reaction as the reaction produces sulphite salt and water.**

## How to balance H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO?

**The equation for the reaction H _{2}SO_{4} + BeO**

**is**

**H _{2}SO_{4} + BeO –> BeSO_{3} + H_{2}O**

**The reaction is in a self-balanced state as both the sides of the reaction have an equivalent number of atoms of each of the four elements H, O, S, and Be.**

## H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO _{ }titration

**BeO being an insoluble salt, is back-titrated with H**_{2}**SO**_{3}** to determine its concentration by using the following procedure.**

#### Apparatus

**Burette, burette stand, volumetric flask, pipette, conical flask, and measuring cylinder.**

#### Indicator

**Phenolphthalein ****is used as the indicator in this titration.**

#### Procedure

**In a conical flask, take a surplus amount of standardized solution of H**_{2}SO_{3}, and dissolve BeO in it.**Add 1-2 drops of phenolphthalein indicator.****Titrate the excess amount of H**_{2}SO_{3 }(left after reaction with BeO), with standard NaOH solution taken in the burette, until the colorless solution changes to light pink.**Repeat the above procedure 3 times and record the average burette reading.****Finally, the amount of unreacted H**_{2}SO_{3}can be calculated using the formula S_{1}V_{1}= S_{2}V_{2}.**The amount of H**_{2}SO_{3 }that has reacted with BeO can be obtained by deducting the amount of unreacted H_{2}SO_{3}from the total amount taken.**The concentration of BeO can be determined from the amount of H**_{2}SO_{3}that has been consumed in the reaction.

## H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO _{ }net ionic equation

**The net ionic equation of H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO cannot be calculated as the reaction solubility quotient is not known. BeO is a solid, while H_{2}SO_{3} is a weak acid, so its aqueous form does not dissociate into ions. The dissociation of the products BeSO_{3} and H_{2}O are limited as they exist in aqueous and liquid forms, respectively.**

## H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO _{ }conjugate pairs

**In** **H _{2}SO_{3} and BeO, the conjugate pairs are:**

**H**_{2}SO_{3 }and HSO_{3}^{– }(bisulphite anion) are the conjugate acid-base pairs.**BeO does not have a conjugate pair as it is a metal oxide.**

## H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO _{ }intermolecular forces

**The intermolecular forces existing between** **H _{2}SO_{3} and BeO is as follows:**

**In H**_{2}SO_{3}, the hydrogen and sulphite ions are held by dipole-dipole interactions, Van der Waals forces, and London dispersion forces.

**In BeO, a strong electrostatic force of attraction****is present as it is ionic in nature.**

## H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO _{ }reaction enthalpy

**H**_{2}**SO**_{3}** + BeO reaction enthalpy is -172.66 kJ/mol. This negative reaction enthalpy can be calculated by using the enthalpy of formation values as illustrated below –**

Compound | Enthalpy in KJ/mol |
---|---|

H_{2}SO_{3} | -635.55 |

BeO | -599.00 |

BeSO_{3} | -1121.38 |

H_{2}O | -285.83 |

**Enthalpy of reactants and products**

**Enthalpy of reaction (ΔH**_{f}**) = Standard enthalpy of products – standard enthalpy of reactants**

**ΔH**_{f}**= (-1407.21) – (-1234.55)**

**Thus, ΔH**_{f}**= -172.66 kJ/mol.**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO a buffer solution?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is an indirect buffer solution as the reaction mixture yields a weak acid and beryllium sulphite salt (which results from the reaction between a weak acid and BeO, an amphoteric oxide).**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO a complete reaction?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is a complete reaction, as the equilibrium in the neutralization reaction shifts towards the forward direction leading to the formation of salt and water.**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO an exothermic reaction?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is an exothermic reaction because heat is generated in the reaction as indicated by the negative value of the reaction enthalpy.**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO a redox reaction?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is not a redox reaction, as the oxidation states of each of the elements remains the same throughout the reaction.**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO a precipitation reaction?

**The reaction of H _{2}SO_{3} and BeO is not a precipitation reaction. Barium sulphite formed as the product is only sparingly soluble.**

## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO an irreversible reaction?

**H _{2}SO_{3} + **

**BeO**

**is an irreversible reaction because**

**the products BeSO**

_{3}and H_{2}O cannot revert back to starting materials.## Is H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO a displacement reaction?

**The reaction between H _{2}SO_{3} + BeO is an example of a double displacement reaction**,

**or salt metathesis reaction. In this reaction, Be displaces H from H**

_{2}SO_{3 }to form BeSO_{3, }while O displaces sulphite ions to form water.**Conclusion**

H_{2}SO_{3} + BeO is an acid-base reaction between a weak acid and an amphoteric oxide. Sulphurous acid is a weak electrolyte and is moderately stable. The properties and uses of beryllium sulphite formed in this reaction are not widely known, as it quickly oxidizes to beryllium sulphate.

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