What Is an Oxyacid in Chemistry?

Phosphoric acid diagram
Phosphoric acid is an oxyacid. Ben Mills/PD

An oxyacid is an acid that contains an oxygen atom bonded to a hydrogen atom and at least one other element. An oxyacid dissociates in water to form the H+ cation and the anion of the acid. An oxyacid has the general structure X-O-H.

  • Also Known As: oxoacid
  • Examples: Sulfuric acid (H2SO4), phosphoric acid (H3PO4), and nitric acid (HNO3) are all oxyacids.

Note: Keto acids and oxocarboxylic acids are sometimes mistakenly called oxyacids.