Acids, Bases & Salts

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Common acids:

  • Hydrochloric Acid- HCL
  • Nitric Acid- HNO
  • Sulphuric Acid- HSO

Acid: species that is a proton donor eg the H+

In water acids give a pH of less than 7.0

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Common bases are metal oxides and hydroxides

eg MgO, CuO and NaOH, Mg(OH)

Ammonia is also a common base- NH   

Hydroxides like calcium hydroxide are used for treating acid soils as they neutralise acids.

A base is a proton accepetor


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An alkali that has a pH greater than 7.0

Common alkalis:

  • Sodium Hydroxide- NaOH
  • Potassium Hydroxide- KOH
  • Ammonia- NH₃    

An alkali is a type of base that dissolves in water forming OH− ions

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A salt is an ionic compound where a H+ is replaced with a metal or positive ion.


HSO(sulphuric acid) goes to KSO (potassium sulphate)

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Formation of Salts

Salts can be formed by neutralising acids with carbonates, bases and alkalis

From carbonates: Acid + carbonate → Salt + Carbon Dioxide + Water

Example; 2HCl + CaCO → CaCl + HO + CO

From bases: Acid + Bases → Salt + Water

Example; 2HCl + CaO → CaCl + HO

From Alkalis: Acid + Alkalis→ Salt + Water

HCL + NaOH → NaCl + HO

Salts can be also formed from metals 

Metal + Acids    Salt + hydrogen gas

Example; Mg + 2HCL    MgCl + H

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