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.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is an Oxyacid in Chemistry?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, thoughtco.com/definition-of-oxyacid-605461. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). What Is an Oxyacid in Chemistry? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-oxyacid-605461 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is an Oxyacid in Chemistry?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-oxyacid-605461 (accessed March 3, 2021).