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QUESTION

# What is ionization; in relation to acids?

Consider the ionization of hydrochloric acid:

HCl(aq) + H_2O(l) rightleftharpoons H_3O^(+) + Cl^-

The charge separation that the acid undergoes upon protonolysis, i.e. its donation of a proton to the molecule, is the so-called "ionization."

For stronger acids, ionization (and protonolysis) is almost complete, and the equilibrium lies strongly to the right.