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Metal oxides are basic

Metal oxides are basic; they react with water to form bases such as hydroxides.

 

E.g. sodium oxide + water → sodium hydroxide

Na2O + H2O → 2NaOH

 

Other examples of metal oxides include potassium oxide K2O and calcium oxide CaO.

Non-metal oxides are acidic

Because metal oxides are basic, non-metal oxides are acidic. They react with water to form acids.

E.g. carbon dioxide + water → carbonic acid

CO2 + H2O → H2CO3

 

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