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Limitation Of Hsab Principle

The hard-hard or soft-soft factors according to HSAB principle are independent of acidic or basic character of compounds. However sometimes this rule is violated by inherent acid or base strength leading to more stable hard soft systems. For example according to HSAB principle, the following reactions not favored
                                             SO32-          +        HF     →       HSO3      +        F-
                                            (soft-base)          (hard)         (hard-soft)           (hard)

However, it occurs because the stronger, soft-base SO32- displaced the weaker, hared base F- form the hard acid H+. Similarly , a very strong hard base OH- can displace a less strong soft base, SO32- form the soft acid CH3Hg+ .
                                             CH3HgSO3-   +       OH-     →       CH3HgOH    +       SO32-
                                           (soft-soft)                 (hard)            (soft-hard)               (soft)

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