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QUESTION

# The Ksp for Zn(OH)2 is 5.0x10^-17 . Determine the molar solubility of zn(OH)2 in a buffer solution with pH of 11.5 ?

You have the K_(sp) expression, which was explained in the other thread http://socratic.org/questions/in-which-of-the-following-aqueous-solutions-would-you-expect-to-agbr-to-have-the168330.

Here we know the [OH^-] value (how; what is the pH?). Therefore you have the tools to solve for [Zn^(2+)], whose concentration represents the solubility of zinc hydroxide. Remember that hydroxide ion concentration is squared in the K_(sp) expression.

As an extension, it may be speculated that we could reduce the [Zn^(2+)] value to any degree, simply by increasing [OH^-]. Note that at very high levels of [OH^-], we are likely to form complex ions such as, Zn(OH)_4^(2-) (I assure you this species is real). This is a competing equilibrium that can occur.