Topics Covered in this Chapter: Acids, Bases and Salts:
Neutralisation in Everyday Life
Frequently Asked Questions
Acids, bases and salts are present in our everyday life: table salt is a neutral salt, apples contain malic acid, soaps are made with bases. Acids, bases and salts exhibit their unique chemical and physical properties. Moreover, acids, bases and salts can be combined to create new chemicals.
The word ‘acid’ is derived from the Latin word ‘acere’ or ‘acidus,’ which means sour. Products containing acid usually have a strong sour taste. Acids present in food items are natural acids. Some food items, which have acid in their chemical composition are oranges, lemons, vinegar, curd etc. Lemon contains citric acid; vinegar contains acetic acid and so on.
Acid is corrosive in nature. It turns blue litmus paper, a neutral testing paper, to red. There are different types of acids such as lactic acid, acetic acid, formic acid, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, ascorbic acid etc.
Substances that contain bases are usually soapy to touch and taste bitter. Bases are also prevalent in everyday products such as ammonia, washing powder, soap, bleach, baking powder, toothpaste, paper glass etc. They are also present in various food items like bread, cake, pastries, cookies etc.
Bases turn red litmus paper to blue. There are different types of bases such as sodium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, barium hydroxide, strontium hydroxide and rubidium hydroxide. Soluble bases are also known as alkalis. Alkaline solutions can conduct electricity.
Salts are a product of the neutralisation process. Salt does not have a definite chemical structure and contains acids and bases. Salt may contain either a strong acid and a weak base or a weak acid and a strong base. Similar to acids and bases, salts are also prevalent in everyday life. Some food items that contain salts are common salts, also known as sodium chloride. Common salt is present in all food items, especially the cooked ones for taste. Salts also help in fermentation and food preservation and are present in other essential substances like pesticides, medicines and photo paper.