Arrange the following in the decreasing order: ClCH2COOH, Cl3CCOOH, CH3COOH, Cl2CHCOOH

The greater the number of electron-withdrawing substituents, the greater the dispersal of the negative charge and hence stronger will be the acid. Hence, the order of acidity is

Cl3CCOOH > Cl2CHCOOH > ClCH2COOH > CH3COOH

Strength of carboxylic acids

Carboxylic acids are weak acids because they only partially ionise in solution. Their solutions do not contain many hydrogen ions than a strong acid solution at the same concentration. Acetic acid is ten times weaker than formic acid confirming the electron-donating character of an alkyl group relative to hydrogen.

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