Hydroxide - OH

What is Hydroxide?

OH is a diatomic anion with chemical name Hydroxide. It is also called Hydroxyl or Hydroxyl radical or hydroxide ion. It consists of a hydrogen and an oxygen atom which are held together by a covalent bond. The hydrogen carries a negative electric charge. It is widely used as a food preservative, for alkalization of urine to prevent kidney stones, an anticoagulant for stored blood, and buffer. It acts as a ligand, a catalyst, a base, and a nucleophile.

The ion forms salts where some of them dissociate in aqueous solution to liberate solvated hydroxide ions. It is a minor constituent of water. When a strongly electropositive center and hydroxide are attached to each other, hydroxide may ionize itself to liberate a hydrogen cation, and makes the parent compound as an acid.

HOwhich is the electrically neutral compound is the hydroxyl radical. –OH which is the covalently-bound group is the hydroxy group. The hydroxy group and hydroxide ion are nucleophiles and functions as catalysts in organic chemistry.

Hydroxide Properties



Molecular Weight of Hydroxide

17.007 g/mol

Monoisotopic mass of Hydroxide

17.003 g/mol

Conjugate base

Oxide anion

Conjugate acid


Structure of Hydroxide (OH)

Structure of Hydroxide

Uses of Hydroxide (OH)

  • Hydroxide is used to produce fuel cells.
  • Used to produce disinfectants.
  • Used as food preservatives to prevent bacteria and mold growing in food.
  • Used in the paper recycling process.
  • Used in the extraction of alumina.

All inorganic substances with the word hydroxide in their name do not mean ionic compounds of the hydroxide ion. They are covalent compounds which contain the hydroxy groups.

Learn more about the different applications, structure, and properties of Hydroxide (OH) from the expert faculties at BYJU’S – India’s largest education company.

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