Argon is an inert gas. An argon atmosphere is
used to protect chemicals that are sensitive to
oxygen and water. In many cases,nitrogen gas can
also be used as an inert atmosphere. Most Lewis
acids are sensitive to water. Because of the lone
electron pairs on the oxygen atom in a water
molecule, water can act as a Lewis base and react
with some Lewis acids. In other cases, water can
hydrolyze the Lewis acid. For example, the lewis
acid PCl5 reacts with water to form
POCl3 and 2 HCl (hydrogen chloride gas).
However, some Lewis acids have been discovered
that can be used in reactions with water as the
solvent. This is quite useful because water is
much more environmentally friendly than organic
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