Hydration Energy Definition & Meanings : A Complete Guide

Hydration of ions is an exothermic process. The energy released when one mole of an ion in the gaseous state is dissolved in water to get it hydrated is called hydration energy. It is the energy released in the hydration of  M+(g) ions.

M+(g)     + aq                     →               [M(aq)]+             +            Energy released

(Hydrated cation)Hydration Energy

This energy highly depends on:

(i) ionic radius and

(ii) Charge on the ion.

In other words, this energy mainly depends on the charge to size ratio of the ion. Since, the charge to size, the ratio decreases from top to bottom in a group, It also decreases from top to bottom in a group.

Thus, this energy decreases from Li+ to Cs+ in group IA. The energy increases significantly by moving from left to right in a period as the charge to size ratio increases, as observed in the metal ions of the 3rd period.

For example, the hydration energy is greater for Mg2+ than for Na+, because Mg ion has a large charge, as well as being a smaller ion than Na+.

The negative sign associated with the hydration energy values indicates the release of energy.

Hydration Energy of ions ( ΔHhyd) in kJ mol-1

Period Li+ Be2+ B3+ F
-515 -1757 -457





Ca 2+






-322 -1145 -351

Trends in Alkali metals

The extent of hydration energy trends in Alkali metals depends upon the size of the ions that participated in metals. if the size of the ions is greater, It will be smaller and vice versa. you can understand better by this sequence.

hydration energy trends in periodic table

Trends in Alkaline earth metals

The hydration enthalpy becomes smaller as the size of the ion increases in alkaline metals and vice versa as shown in the figure.

hydration enthalpy of alkaline earth metals



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