Identify common acids and also basesDefine acid-base reactionsRecognize and also identify examples of acid-base reactionsPredict the commodities of acid-base reactions.

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The an interpretation of one acid is frequently cited as: any compound that increases the amount of hydrogen ion (H+) in an aqueous solution. The chemistry opposite that an mountain is a base. The equivalent meaning of a base is that a base is a compound that boosts the quantity of hydroxide ion (OH−) in one aqueous solution. This original meanings were proposed by Arrhenius (the same human who suggest ion dissociation) in 1884, for this reason they are referred to as the Arrhenius definition of one acid and also a base, respectively.

You may recognize that, based on the description of a hydrogen atom, one H+ ion is a hydrogen atom that has actually lost that is lone electron; the is, H+ is just a proton. Carry out we really have bare protons moving about in aqueous solution? No. What is much more likely is the the H+ ion has attached itself to one (or more) water molecule(s). To represent this chemically, we specify the hydronium ion H3O+(aq), a water molecule through an extra hydrogen ion attached to it. As H3O+, i beg your pardon represents secondary proton attached come a water molecule. We use the hydronium ion together the more logical way a hydrogen ion appears in an aqueous solution, back in numerous chemical reaction H+ and H3O+ room treated equivalently.

For functions of this brief introduction, we will consider only the more common varieties of acid-base reactions the take ar in aqueous solutions. In this context, an acid is a problem that will dissolve in water to yield hydronium ions, H3O+. Together an example, consider the equation shown here:

\textHCl(aq) + \textH_2 \textO(aq) \longrightarrow \textCl^-(aq) + \textH_3 \textO^+(aq)

The procedure represented by this equation confirms that hydrogen chloride is an acid. When dissolved in water, H3O+ ions are produced by a chemical reaction in which H+ ions space transferred native HCl molecule to H2O molecule (Figure 1).

Figure 1. once hydrogen chloride gas dissolves in water, (a) that reacts as an acid, carrying protons to water molecules to yield (b) hydronium ions (and solvated chloride ions).

The nature of HCl is such the its reaction through water as just defined is basically 100% efficient: virtually every HCl molecule the dissolves in water will undergo this reaction. Mountain that totally react in this fashion are referred to as strong acids, and HCl is one among just a grasp of typical acid compounds that are classified as strong (Table 1).

Compound FormulaName in Aqueous Solution
HBrhydrobromic acid
HClhydrochloric acid
HIhydroiodic acid
HNO3nitric acid
HClO4perchloric acid
HClO3chloric acid
H2SO4sulfuric acid
Table 1. Common solid Acids

 A much greater variety of compounds behave together weak acids and only partially react v water, leave a huge majority of liquified molecules in your original kind and generating a reasonably small amount of hydronium ions.

Compound FormulaName in Aqueous Solution
HFhydrofluoric acid
HCNhydrocyanic acid
HC2H3O2acetic acid
HNO2nitrous acid
HClOhypochlorous acid
HClO2chlorous acid
H2SO3sulfurous acid
H2CO3carbonic acid
H3PO4phosphoric acid
Table 2. typical Weak Acids

Weak mountain are generally encountered in nature, gift the substances partially responsible because that the tangy taste that citrus fruits, the stinging emotion of insect bites, and the uncomfortable smells associated with human body odor. A familiar example of a weak acid is acetic acid, the main ingredient in food vinegars:

\textCH_3 \textCO_2 \textH(aq) + \textH_2 \textO(l) \leftrightharpoons \textCH_3 \textCO_2^-(aq) + \textH_3 \textO^+(aq)
Figure 2. (a) fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit save on computer the weak mountain citric acid. (b) Vinegars save the weak mountain acetic acid. (credit a: change of occupational by Scott Bauer; credit b: modification of occupational by Brücke-Osteuropa/Wikimedia Commons)

A base is a substance that will certainly dissolve in water to yield hydroxide ions, OH−. The most typical bases are ionic compounds written of alkali or alkaline earth metal cations (groups 1 and also 2) linked with the hydroxide ion—for example, NaOH and also Ca(OH)2. As soon as these link dissolve in water, hydroxide ions are released straight into the solution. For example, KOH and Ba(OH)2 dissolve in water and also dissociate totally to produce cations (K+ and also Ba2+, respectively) and hydroxide ions, OH−. This bases, in addition to other hydroxides that completely dissociate in water, are taken into consideration strong bases.

Consider as an example the resolution of lye (sodium hydroxide) in water:

\textNaOH(s) \longrightarrow \textNa^+(aq) + \textOH^-(aq)

This equation confirms that salt hydroxide is a base. When dissolved in water, NaOH dissociates to yield Na+ and also OH− ions. This is also true for any type of other ionic link containing hydroxide ions. Because the dissociation procedure is essentially complete when ionic compounds dissolve in water under usual conditions, NaOH and other ionic hydroxides space all classified as solid bases.

Unlike ionic hydroxides, part compounds produce hydroxide ions when liquified by chemically reacting with water molecules. In every cases, this compounds react just partially and so space classified as weak bases. These species of link are additionally abundant in nature and also important products in various technologies. Because that example, an international production the the weak base ammonia is commonly well over 100 metric lots annually, gift widely used as an agricultural fertilizer, a raw product for chemical synthesis of various other compounds, and also an active ingredient in family members cleaners (Figure 3). When liquified in water, ammonia reacts partly to productivity hydroxide ions, as presented here:

\textNH_3(aq) + \textH_2 \textO(l) \rightleftharpoons \textNH_4^+(aq) + \textOH^-(aq)

Under common conditions, only around 1% of the liquified ammonia is present as NH4+ ions.

Figure 3. Ammonia is a weak base used in a range of applications. (a) Pure ammonia is commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer. (b) Dilute remedies of ammonia are reliable household cleansers. (credit a: change of work-related by national Resources conservation Service; credit b: change of occupational by pat00139)

Acid-Base Reactions

An acid-base reaction is one in which a hydrogen ion, H+, is transferred from one chemical species to another. Such reactions space of central importance to plenty of natural and technical processes, varying from the chemical changes that take place within cells and also the lakes and oceans, to the industrial-scale manufacturing of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and other substances essential to society. The subject of acid-base chemistry, therefore, is worthy the thorough discussion.

The reaction in between an acid and also a base is dubbed an acid-base reaction or a neutralization reaction. Return acids and also bases have their own distinctive chemistries, the acid and also base cancel every other’s chemistry to create a rather innocuous substance—water. In fact, the general acid-base reaction is

acid + base \longrightarrow water + salt

where the ax salt is provided to define any kind of ionic link (soluble or insoluble) that is formed from a reaction between an acid and a base. In chemistry, the word salt advert to much more than simply table salt. Because that example, the well balanced chemical equation for the reaction between HCl(aq) and KOH(aq) is

HCl(aq) + KOH(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ) + KCl(aq)

where the salt is KCl. By count the number of atoms of every element, we uncover that just one water molecule is created as a product. However, in the reaction in between HCl(aq) and Mg(OH)2(aq), extr molecules of HCl and H2O are required to balance the chemical equation:

2 HCl(aq) + Mg(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + MgCl2(aq)

Here, the salt is MgCl2. This is one of several reactions that take place when a form of antacid—a base—is offered to treat stomach acid.

There space acid-base reactions that perform not follow the “general acid-base” equation offered above. Because that example, , the balanced chemical equation for the reaction in between HCl(aq) and also NH3(aq) is

HCl(aq) + NH3(aq) \longrightarrow NH4Cl(aq)

Example 1

Write the neutralization reactions between each acid and base.

a) HNO3(aq) and Ba(OH)2(aq) b)H3PO4(aq) and Ca(OH)2(aq)


First, we will write the chemistry equation with the formulas of the reactants and the expected products; climate we will balance the equation.

a) The expected commodities are water and also barium nitrate, therefore the initial chemical reaction is

HNO3(aq) + Ba(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ) + Ba(NO3)2(aq)

To balance the equation, we should realize the there will be two H2O molecules, so 2 HNO3 molecules space required:

2HNO3(aq) + Ba(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow 2H2O(ℓ) + Ba(NO3)2(aq)

This chemical equation is currently balanced.

b) The expected products are water and also calcium phosphate, so the initial chemical equation is

H3PO4(aq) + Ca(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ) + Ca3(PO4)2(s)

According come the solubility rules, Ca3(PO4)2 is insoluble, therefore it has actually an (s) phase label. To balance this equation, we require two phosphate ions and three calcium ions; we end up with six water molecule to balance the equation:

2 H3PO4(aq) + 3 Ca(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow 6 H2O(ℓ) + Ca3(PO4)2(s)

This chemical equation is currently balanced.

Test Yourself

Write the neutralization reaction in between H2SO4(aq) and also Sr(OH)2(aq).


H2SO4(aq) + Sr(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + SrSO4(aq)

Neutralization reactions room one type of chemical reaction that proceeds even if one reactant is no in the aqueous phase. Because that example, the chemical reaction in between HCl(aq) and Fe(OH)3(s) quiet proceeds follow to the equation

3 HCl(aq) + Fe(OH)3(s) \longrightarrow 3 H2O(ℓ) + FeCl3(aq)

even despite Fe(OH)3 is no soluble. When one realizes that Fe(OH)3(s) is a ingredient of rust, this defines why some cleaning solutions for rust stains save acids—the neutralization reaction produces assets that room soluble and also wash away. Washing through acids favor HCl is one way to remove rust and also rust stains, but HCl need to be offered with caution!

Complete and net ionic reactions because that neutralization reaction will count on whether the reactants and products space soluble, also if the acid and also base react. Because that example, in the reaction that HCl(aq) and also NaOH(aq),

HCl(aq) + NaOH(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ) + NaCl(aq)

the complete ionic reaction is

H+(aq) + Cl−(aq) + Na+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ) + Na+(aq) + Cl−(aq)

The Na+(aq) and Cl−(aq) ions space spectator ions, so we have the right to remove them come have

H+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ)

as the net ionic equation. If we want to compose this in regards to the hydronium ion, H3O+(aq), we would certainly write that as

H3O+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow 2H2O(ℓ)

With the exemption of the advent of one extra water molecule, these two net ionic equations space equivalent.

However, for the reaction between HCl(aq) and Cr(OH)2(s), since chromium(II) hydroxide is insoluble, we cannot separate it into ions for the complete ionic equation:

2 H+(aq) + 2 Cl−(aq) + Cr(OH)2(s) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + Cr2+(aq) + 2 Cl−(aq)

The chloride ions are the just spectator ion here, therefore the net ionic equation is

2 H+(aq) + Cr(OH)2(s) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + Cr2+(aq)

Example 2

Write balanced chemical equations because that the acid-base reactions described here:

a) the weak acid hydrogen hypochlorite reacts through water

b) a equipment of barium hydroxide is neutralized through a solution of nitric acid

Solutiona) The 2 reactants are provided, HOCl and also H2O. Since the substance is report to be an acid, the reaction through water will involve the carry of H+ native HOCl to H2O to generate hydronium ions, H3O+ and hypochlorite ions, OCl−.

\textHOCl(aq) + \textH_2 \textO(l) \rightleftharpoons \textOCl^-(aq) + \textH_3 \textO^+(aq)

A double-arrow is ideal in this equation since it indicates the HOCl is a weak acid that has actually not reacted completely.

b) The two reactants space provided, Ba(OH)2 and also HNO3. Since this is a neutralization reaction, the two assets will it is in water and also a salt composed of the cation that the ionic hydroxide (Ba2+) and also the anion produced when the mountain transfers that is hydrogen ion (NO3−).

\textBa(OH)_2(aq) + 2\textHNO_3(aq) \longrightarrow \textBa(NO_3)_2(aq) + 2\textH_2 \textO(l)

Test YourselfWrite the network ionic equation representing the neutralization the any solid acid through an ionic hydroxide. Hint: consider the ions created when a solid acid is liquified in water.


\textH_3 \textO^+(aq) + \textOH^-(aq) \longrightarrow 2\textH_2 \textO(l)

Example 3

Oxalic acid, H2C2O4(s), and Ca(OH)2(s) react very slowly. What is the net ionic equation in between these 2 substances if the salt created is insoluble? The anion in oxalic mountain is the oxalate ion, C2O42−.


The commodities of the neutralization reaction will certainly be water and calcium oxalate:

H2C2O4(s) + Ca(OH)2(s) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + CaC2O4(s)

Because nothing is dissolved, there room no substances come separate right into ions, for this reason the network ionic equation is the equation that the three solids and also one liquid.

Test Yourself

What is the network ionic equation between HNO3(aq) and also Ti(OH)4(s)?


4 H+(aq) + Ti(OH)4(s) \longrightarrow 4 H2O(ℓ) + Ti4+(aq)


Explore the microscopic see of solid and weak acids and bases.

Gas-forming Acid-Base reactions

A driving force for certain acid-base reaction is the development of a gas. Typical gases developed are H2, O2, and also CO2.

For example:

2HCl(aq) + Na2CO3(aq) \longrightarrow H2CO3(aq) + 2NaCl(aq) \longrightarrow CO2(g) + H2O(l) + 2NaCl(aq)

The over example have the right to be regarded as one acid-base reaction complied with by a decomposition. The driving pressure in this situation is the gas formation. The decomposition the H2CO3 into CO2 and H2O is a really common reaction. Both Na2CO3 and NaHCO3 combined with acid result in a gas-forming acid-base reaction.

HCl(aq) + NaHCO3(aq) \longrightarrow H2CO3(aq) + NaCl(aq) \longrightarrow CO2(g) + H2O(l) + NaCl(aq)

Food and Drink App: acids in Foods

Many foods and beverages contain acids. Acids impart a sour keep in mind to the taste that foods, i beg your pardon may include some pleasantness to the food. Because that example, orange juice consists of citric acid, H3C6H5O7. Note how this formula shows hydrogen atom in two places; the first hydrogen atoms written are the hydrogen atoms that can form H+ ions, when the 2nd hydrogen atoms composed are part of the citrate ion, C6H5O73−. Lemons and also limes save on computer much much more citric acid—about 60 times together much—which accounts because that these citrus fruit being much more sour than many oranges. Vinegar is essentially a ~5% systems of acetic acid (HC2H3O2) in water. Apples contain malic acid (H2C4H4O5; the surname malic acid comes from the apple’s factory genus name, malus), when lactic acid (HC3H5O3) is found in wine and also sour milk products, such as yogurt and some head cheeses.

Table 3 “Various Acids uncovered in Food and Beverages” lists some acids discovered in foods, either normally or together an additive. Frequently, the salts of acid anions are supplied as additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is the sodium salt acquired from glutamic acid. As you read the list, friend should pertained to the unpreventable conclusion the it is impossible to protect against acids in food and also beverages.

Acid NameAcid FormulaUse and Appearance
acetic acidHC2H3O2flavouring; discovered in vinegar
adipic acidH2C6H8O4flavouring; uncovered in processed foods and some antacids
alginic acidvariousthickener; found in drinks, ice cream, and also weight lose products
ascorbic acidHC6H7O6antioxidant, additionally known together vitamin C; found in fruits and also vegetables
benzoic acidHC6H5CO2preservative; uncovered in handle foods
citric acidH3C6H5O7flavouring; discovered in citrus fruits
dehydroacetic acidHC8H7O4preservative, particularly for strawberries and squash
erythrobic acidHC6H7O6antioxidant; found in processed foods
fatty acidsvariousthickener and emulsifier; discovered in handle foods
fumaric acidH2C4H2O4flavouring; mountain reactant in part baking powders
glutamic acidH2C5H7NO4flavouring; uncovered in handle foods and also in tomatoes, part cheeses, and soy products
lactic acidHC3H5O3flavouring; found in wine, yogurt, cottage cheese, and other sour milk products
malic acidH2C4H4O5flavouring; discovered in apples and also unripe fruit
phosphoric acidH3PO4flavouring; discovered in some colas
propionic acidHC3H5O2preservative; uncovered in small goods
sorbic acidHC6H7O2preservative; found in processed foods
stearic acidHC18H35O2anticaking agent; discovered in hard candies
succinic acidH2C4H4O4flavouring; found in wine and also beer
tartaric acidH2C4H4O6flavouring; uncovered in grapes, bananas, and also tamarinds

Table 3. Various Acids found in Food and Beverages

Key Concepts and Summary

Chemical reactions room classified follow to similar patterns that behaviour. Acid-base reactions involve the carry of hydrogen ions between reactants.

General acid-base reactions, also called neutralization reactions have the right to be summarized v the adhering to reaction equation:

ACID(aq) + BASE(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(l) + SALT(aq) or (s)

The DRIVING pressure for a basic acid-base reaction is the formation of water.

Gas-forming acid-base reactions deserve to be summarized v the adhering to reaction equation:

ACID(aq) + NaHCO3 or Na2CO3(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(l) + CO2(g) + SALT(aq) or (s)

The DRIVING force for a gas-forming acid-base reaction is the development of gas. There space three ways of

There are three means of representing a neutralization reaction, using a molecular equation, complete ionic equation or network ionic equation, as defined in section 6.1.

1. What is the Arrhenius definition of an acid?

2. What is the Arrhenius an interpretation of a base?

3. Guess the commodities of every acid-base combination listed. Assume the a neutralization reaction occurs.

5. Write a balanced chemical equation because that the neutralization reaction between each given acid and also base. Encompass the ideal phase labels.

a) HI(aq) + KOH(aq) \longrightarrow ?

b) H2SO4(aq) + Ba(OH)2(aq) \longrightarrow ?

7. Compose the complete and also net ionic equations for the neutralization reaction between HClO3(aq) and Zn(OH)2(s). Assume the salt is soluble.

8. Describe why the network ionic equation for the neutralization reaction between HCl(aq) and also KOH(aq) is the exact same as the network ionic equation for the neutralization reaction between HNO3(aq) and also RbOH.

9. Compose the complete and net ionic equations for the neutralization reaction in between HCl(aq) and also KOH(aq) utilizing the hydronium ion in ar of H+. What difference does that make once using the hydronium ion?

10. Complete and also balance the complying with acid-base equations:

a) HCl gas reacts through solid Ca(OH)2(s).

b) A equipment of Sr(OH)2 is included to a equipment of HNO3.

11. Complete and balance the equations because that the adhering to acid-base neutralization reactions. If water is used as a solvent, write the reactants and also products as aqueous ions. In some cases, there may be much more than one correct answer, depending upon the amounts of reactants used.

a) \textMg(OH)_2(s) + \textHClO_4(aq) \longrightarrow

b) \textSrO(s) + \textH_2 \textSO_4(l) \longrightarrow

12. Complete and balance the equations that the complying with reactions, every of which could be provided to remove hydrogen sulfide from herbal gas:

a) \textCa(OH)_2(s) + \textH_2 \textS(g) \longrightarrow

b) \textNa_2 \textCO_3(aq) + \textH_2 \textS(g) \longrightarrow

4. a) HCl + KOH \longrightarrow KCl + H2O

b) H2SO4 + 2 KOH \longrightarrow K2SO4 + 2 H2O

c) 2 H3PO4 + 3 Ni(OH)2 \longrightarrow Ni3(PO4)2 + 6 H2O

5. a) HI(aq) + KOH(aq) \longrightarrow KCl(aq) + H2O(ℓ)

b) 2 H+(aq) + SO42−(aq) + Ba2+(aq) + 2 OH−(aq) \longrightarrow BaSO4(s) + 2 H2O(ℓ)

7. Complete ionic equation:

2 H+(aq) + 2 ClO3−(aq) + Zn2+(aq) + 2 OH−(aq) \longrightarrow Zn2+(aq) + 2 ClO3−(aq) + 2 H2O(ℓ)

8. Because the salts are soluble in both cases, the network ionic reaction is simply H+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow H2O(ℓ).

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9. Complete ionic equation:

H3O+(aq) + Cl−(aq) + K+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ) + K+(aq) + Cl−(aq)

Net ionic equation:

H3O+(aq) + OH−(aq) \longrightarrow 2 H2O(ℓ)

The difference is simply the visibility of an extra water molecule as a product.

10. a) 2\textHCl(g) + \textCa(OH)_2(s) \longrightarrow \textCaCl_2(s) + 2\textH_2 \textO(l);

b) \textSr(OH)_2(aq) + 2\textHNO_3(aq) \longrightarrow \textSr(NO_3)_2(aq) + 2\textH_2 \textO(l);

11. a) \textMg(OH)_2(s) + 2\textHClO_4(aq) \longrightarrow \textMg^2+(aq) + 2\textClO_4^-(aq) + 2\textH_2 \textO(l);b) \textSrO(s) + \textH_2 \textSO_4(l) \longrightarrow \textSrSO_4(s) + \textH_2 \textO

12. a) \textCa(OH)_2(s) + \textH_2 \textS(g) \longrightarrow \textCaS(s) + 2\textH_2\textO(l);b) \textNa_2 \textCO_3(aq) + \textH_2 \textS(g) \longrightarrow \textNa_2 \textS(aq) + \textCO_2(g) + \textH_2 \textO(l)


acid: substance the produces H3O+ when dissolved in water

acid-base reaction: reaction including the deliver of a hydrogen ion between reactant species

base: substance the produces OH− when liquified in water

neutralization reaction: reaction between an acid and also a base to produce salt and water

salt: ionic link that deserve to be developed by the reaction of an acid through a basic that contains a cation and an anion various other than hydroxide or oxide

strong acid: acid that reacts fully when liquified in water to yield hydronium ions

strong base: base the reacts fully when liquified in water to productivity hydroxide ions

weak acid: acid that reacts only to a slight level when dissolved in water to yield hydronium ions

weak base: base that reacts only to a slight degree when liquified in water to yield hydroxide ions