Acids, Bases and pH Scales

Essay by jclorenzoJunior High, 9th grade September 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.2

Downloaded 56 times

What is an acid and a base?

The first person that tried to define acids and bases was Arrhenius. His theory proposed that an acid is any substance that produces a proton H+, when dissolved in water and the resulting solution is an electrolyte. A base is any substance that produces hydroxide ions, when dissolved in water; they are also called alkali. This theory was able to explain the way acids and bases react; the only substance that the theory was not able to explain was NH3. So the definition of an acid and a base was redefined, and the Brønsted-Lowry Theory was created. This theory stated that an acid will donate a proton H+ and a base will accept one; it also claimed that an acid or a base will never be a base or an acid until they are dissolved in the water.

Although no theory has been accepted as a law to explain the way acids and bases react, the Brønsted-Lowry theory is the most accepted one.

Properties of acids and bases.

Some of the properties of the acids and bases are:

-Acids taste sour and bases taste bitter.

-Acids turn blue litmus to red; bases turn red litmus to blue.

-In a neutralization reaction, acids neutralize bases; and bases neutralize acids.

-Acids release a hydrogen ion into aqueous solution and bases release a hydroxide ion.

-The hydrogen ion of the acid and the hydroxide ion of the base unite to form water.

-An acid plus a base makes water plus a salt.

-When acids react with carbonates, carbon dioxide is formed; when a base reacts with a carbonate no reaction takes place.

-When acids react with ammonium chloride, no reaction takes place; when a base reacts with ammonium chloride, ammonia is produced.

What is a Chemical...