kayc111
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Can anybody describe the structure of a zwitterion?
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bxaanca
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a zwitterion is a molecule that contains positively charged and negatively charged functional groups.
the amino acid in its solid state is a zwitterion because it contains the NH3+ and the COO-.
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scimus63
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most text books show the structure of amino acids with a basic amine group -NH2 and an acidic carboxylate group -COOH on each end of the molecule. However if you have a molecule with an acid group on one end and an acidic group on the other it will simply undergo an internal neutralisation reaction.

an amine would normally give under neutralisation:
NH2 + H+ > NH3+
and the carboxylate ion will simply release it H+

-COOH > COO- + H+

so you will get this on both end s of the amino acid, COO-, carboxylate anion on one end and a NH3+ ion on the other end. However the structure will change depending on the pH of the solution present, if you put it in an acidic solution the carboxylate anion will be repronated , and in a basic solution the -NH2, amine group will reform.

hope this helps a bit
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bxaanca
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(Original post by scimus63)
most text books show the structure of amino acids with a basic amine group -NH2 and an acidic carboxylate group -COOH on each end of the molecule. However if you have a molecule with an acid group on one end and an acidic group on the other it will simply undergo an internal neutralisation reaction.

an amine would normally give under neutralisation:
NH2 + H+ > NH3+
and the carboxylate ion will simply release it H+

-COOH > COO- + H+

so you will get this on both end s of the amino acid, COO-, carboxylate anion on one end and a NH3+ ion on the other end. However the structure will change depending on the pH of the solution present, if you put it in an acidic solution the carboxylate anion will be repronated , and in a basic solution the -NH2, amine group will reform.

hope this helps a bit
waitt does the H+ from the COOH give it to the NH2?
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scimus63
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yep
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by bxaanca)
waitt does the H+ from the COOH give it to the NH2?
(Original post by scimus63)
yep
Well, sort of. In solution, it won’t necessarily be the same proton.
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bxaanca
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
Well, sort of. In solution, it won’t necessarily be the same proton.
soo the amino acid is dissolved in water and the h+ is dissociated into water and the H30+ gives it to the NH2?
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scimus63
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you need to think about the pH of the solution the amino acid is in. Treat the amino and the carboxylate groups as separate groups and adjust their structures depending on the pH of the solution they are in. Just think about what happens to acidic/basic groups when you add acid/alkali to them.
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bxaanca
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(Original post by scimus63)
you need to think about the pH of the solution the amino acid is in. Treat the amino and the carboxylate groups as separate groups and adjust their structures depending on the pH of the solution they are in. Just think about what happens to acidic/basic groups when you add acid/alkali to them.
yeahh i understand that. i'm saying when the amino acid is in the solid state when it's neutral and forms the zwitterion
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