Wed. Sep 23rd, 2020
Acids and Bases

What are acids and bases?

Acids are chemical species which give off protons or hydrogen ions and/or receive electrons. Majority of the acids hold a hydrogen atom which is bonded and can dissociate to produce an anion and cation in water. Its pH depends on the acidity and the acidity depends on the concentration of hydrogen ions produced. The term acid is derived from the Latin word “acidus” which refers to sour. The pH value is less than 7 and has a sour taste.

Bases are chemical species which give off electrons, receive protons, or give off hydroxide ions in an aqueous solution. They are slippery in nature and have a bitter taste. On reacting with acids they form salts.

Properties of acids and bases

Some properties are common in acids and bases. Below we have discussed the same:

  • When water is mixed with acid or base it forms ions. The conduction of electricity is made better due to this.
  • Bases and acids both have the ability to conduct electricity.
  • The conductivity of a solution will increase when a number of ions are produced. More ions are formed based on how strong the acid or base.
  • Acids as well as bases carry ions and share ions.
  • The formation of salt is due to the reaction of an acid with a base.

Some contrasting properties of acids and bases are as follows:

  • Litmus paper test – Acids change the colourof blue litmus paper to red whereas bases change the colour of red litmus paper to blue.
  • Ions exuded – Acids release hydrogen ions whereas bases release hydroxide ions.
  • Tase – Acids are sour to taste whereas bases are bitter to taste.
  • pH – The pH value of acids is less than 7 whereas the pH value of bases is greater than 7.
  • Bases can denature protein and have a soapy characteristic.

Examples of acids and bases

Some examples of acids are given below:

Hydrochloric acids, sulfuric acids – strong acids

Citric acid, carbonic acid – weak acids

Some examples of bases are given below:

Lithium hydroxide – strong base

Ortho-diethynylbenzenedianion – superbase

Aluminium oxide – solid base

Methylamine – weak base

Difference between acids and bases

Characteristic Acids Bases
Taste Sour Bitter
pH <7 >7
Soapy nature No Yes
Litmus paper Turns blue litmus red Turns red litmus blue
Ions released Hydrogen ions Hydroxide ions

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By jyoti

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