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on May 19, 2012 at 1:35:57 am


What Are Acids And Bases?

  • types of compounds that have characteristic formulas and similar chemical behaviours
  • very important reactants and catalysts in industrial processes
  • the product of an acid and base is usually salt and water  


Daily Examples 


  • vinegar

  • lemon juice  

  • battery acid

  • Coca-­cola® 


  • baking soda

  • ammonia

  • toothpaste

  • Windex®


Characteristics of Acids and Bases 


 Acids: Bases: 

  • sour tasting

  • good conductors due to H+ ion

  • turn blue litmus paper red

  • do not change phenolphthalein indicator (remains clear)
  •  formulas often begin with a hydrogen (H2) 


  • bitter tasting, slippery in aqueous solution
  • good conductors due to OH-‐ion
  • turn red litmus paper blue
  • turn phenolphthalein indicator pink
  • formulas often contain a hydroxide ion (OH) or a bicarbonate group (HCO3) 






The Arrhenius Theory
  • According to the Arrhenius theory, all acids release hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water. For example: HCl + H2O à H+(aq) + Cl-­(aq)
  • According to the theory, all bases release hydroxide ions (OH-­‐) when dissolved in water. For example: NaOH + H2à Na+(aq) + OH(aq) 



Strong Acids & Bases vs. Weak Acids & Bases

Acids and bases are often referred to as strong or weak.



-A strong acid dissociates completely in water. This means that none of the acid is left in solution; rather, 100% of the acid ionizes into a hydrogen ion (H+) and an anion. 

-A weak acid does not dissociate completely in aqueous solution.


There are six common strong acids:

  • HCl -hydrochloric acid

  • HNO3 -­nitric acid

  • H2SO4 -­sulfuric acid

  • HBr -­hydrobromic acid

  • HI -­hydroiodic acid

  • HClO4 -­perchloric acid 




-A strong base dissociates completely in water to form hydroxide ions (OH-­) and a cation.

-A weak base does not dissociate completely in aqueous solution. 


There are six common strong bases:


  • LiOH -lithium hydroxide

  • NaOH -sodium hydroxide

  • KOH -potassium hydroxide

  • Ca(OH)2 -calcium hydroxide

  • Sr(OH)2 -­strontium hydroxide

  • Ba(OH)2 -­barium hydroxide 







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