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Difference between Acid and Base

Acids and bases are commonly used terms in chemistry. These chemical compounds are helpful in determining the acidic base in a chemical. It is interesting to know that both acids and bases are essential for carrying out an experiment. Now, let us discuss as to what acids and bases mean.

An acid is defined as a chemical substance that is capable of dissolving metal, burning skin, and clothes. The pH value of acid can be 7 or less than that. In chemical terms, an acid is an ion that forms an electron pair along with a proton. Some commonly used acids are lactic acid and citric acid. These acids are present in lemon, oranges, etc.

On the other hand, bases are the substances that react with the acids to form a chemical bond. There are three kinds of bonds in chemistry, namely the Arrhenius base, Bronsted base, and Lewis base. Many scientists have given several definitions of bases depending upon their researches and experiments. Some examples of strong bases are metal oxide, alkoxide, and hydroxide. There are three types of bases, i.e., strong bases, solid bases, and weak bases. Each base has its own importance in a chemical bond. Now, you must be wondering as to what are the various points of contrast between acids and bases. So, let us discuss some points.

1. Acid is defined as an ion that forms an electron pair with the help of a proton. On the other hand, a base forms a chemical bond, when mixed with acids.
2. According to Arrhenius?s definition, acid is a compound that mixes with water to form an H+ ion. According to Arrhenius?s definition, a base is a water substance that produces electrons. Hydroxide ions (OH-) are released in this process.
3. An acid can be considered as a proton donor as it mixes with an ion to form a bond. In terms of bases; it is a proton acceptor.
4. Examples of acids include acetic acid and sulphuric acid. Examples of bases include ammonia and sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
5. As stated above, the pH value of an acid can be 7 or less than 7. The base has a pH value of more than 7.
6. Acid always remains colourless, i.e., whether dissolved or not it remains colourless. When a base is dissolved with an acid, the colour changes to pink.
7. All the formulas of acid begin with the letter H. For instance, HCL (hydrochloric acid) begins with the letter H. Well, there is an exception to it, i.e., the formula of acetic acid begins with the letter C (CH3COOH). All the bases have a chemical formula of OH at the end of every base. For instance, the chemical formula of sodium hydroxide is NaOH.
8. The litmus paper turns from blue to red when it is dipped in acid. The red litmus paper transforms into blue color.
9. Acids can either be in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state. This depends upon the temperature of acids. Bases can be in a solid or gaseous state. For instance, ammonia is always present in a gaseous state.
10. Hydrogen ions are released when the acids are dissolved. Hydroxide ions are released when bases are dissolved.
11. Examples:
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Acetic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Acetone
  • Ammonia
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Lithium Hydroxide
  • Calcium Hydroxide
12. There are two kinds of acids, namely strong acids and weak acids. There are three kinds of bases, namely strong bases, weak bases, and solid bases.

So, these are the striking points of contrast between an acid and base. Acids and bases are essential for every chemical experiment. Both acids and bases react differently when they are mixed with different chemical compounds and water. As already mentioned above, there are several kinds of acids and bases. So, let us take a look.

1. Strong Acid: A strong acid is defined as the one that separates itself in water, i.e., the ions of the strong acids are separated in water. There are different types of strong acids namely:

  • Chloric Acid (HCIO3)
  • Hydroiodic Acid (HI)
  • Nitric Acid (HNO3)
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
  • Hydrobromic Acid (HBr)
  • Perchloric Acid (HCIO4)

2. Weak Acid: A weak acid is defined as an acid that partially separates its ions in water. Apart from the acids mentioned above, all other acids are weak acids. Weak acids are formed through a combination of halogen and hydrogen. The list of some weak acids are as follows:

  • Formic Acid (HCOOH)
  • Oxalic Acid (C2H2O4)
  • Nitrous Acid (HNO2)
  • Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)
  • Sulphuric Acid (H2SO3)

So, these are the two main kinds of acids. Now, let us discuss some significant types of bases.

1. Strong Bases: A strong base is defined as a base that separates its ions in water. These kinds of bases are capable of removing protons from weak acids. Some of the strong bases include:

  • Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
  • Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
  • Strontium Hydroxide (Sr(OH)2)
  • Lithium Hydroxide (LiOH)

2. Weak Bases: Weak bases are defined as bases that are completely separated in water. Examples of weak bases include ammonia, trimethyl ammonia, ammonium hydroxide, pyridine, etc.

3. Super Base: The base that is formed with the help of an alkali metal is known as a super base. Examples of super bases include sodium hydride (NaH), rubidium hydroxide (RbOH), Barium Hydroxide (BA(OH)2), etc.

4. Solid Base: Solid bases are used in anion exchanges. As the name suggests, these kinds of bases are present in solid forms. They react with the acids that are in gaseous states. Two major examples of solid bases include sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)

So, these are some types of chemical bases. Out of the above-mentioned bases, strong bases, weak bases, and solid bases are majorly used for experiments. Acids and bases possess certain properties and characteristics. So, let us discuss some traits of acids and bases.

Characteristics of Bases:

  • Bases are bitter in taste.
  • The pH balance of a particular base is more than 7.
  • Acids are slippery and solid in appearance.
  • The concentration of hydroxide ions is increased in water.
  • The litmus paper is transformed into blue color.

Characteristics of Acids:

  • Acids are sour in taste.
  • Acids react with metals to produce hydrogen in the gaseous state.
  • The pH balance in acids is less than 7.
  • The hydrogen ions are increased in water.
  • The litmus paper turns from blue to red.

So, these are some of the properties of acids and bases. Acids and bases are essential parts of every experiment and research. Many chemical bonds are formed through these acids and bases. However, before performing any experiment, one must be fully aware of the characteristics and properties of both. Thus, acids and bases are important for forming various covalent bonds.

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