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Difference Between Acid and Base

ph-meterAcid vs Base
Acid and base are chemistry terms which refer to different potentialities of chemical substances. An acid, in chemistry, is usually a liquid, that contains hydrogen and has a pH value of less than seven. The hydroen can be replaced by a metal to form a salt. The pH value of a base is always more than 7 and it usually combines with an acid to form a salt. A pH value is a scale to define the acidity or alkalinity of a substance.

Acids and bases can also be combined to form water, salt water and ionic salts. Based on this differentiation, acids are good conducturs of electricity as they have H+ ions while bases are not and more slippery in texture. Bases contain OH-ions. Bases, while dissolving in water, release hydroxide ions which are one hydrogen and one oxygen atom each with a negative charge. On the other hand, acids release only hydrogen ions.

An acid and base are of opposite polarities and therefore, they neutralize each other. Acid and bases react with other substances in a caustic manner. Also, when it comes to chemical interaction, acids function as proton donators while bases function as proton acceptors.

Both acids and bases may be classified as weak or strong. In the case of weak acids and bases, the conjugate result is strong but the weak acid or base does not dissociate properly in water. However, strong acids and bases manage almost complete dissociation in water though their conjugate acid or base is weak.

As regards physical properties, acids are sour in taste and can burn or destroy substances they come in contact with. They leave a stinging effect on mucous membranes. Bases, on the other hand, taste bitter and have a soapy or slippery texture. Both acids and bases can be dangerous to the human body if of a high pH value. pH value of an Acid is lower than 7 and the pH value of a Base is higher than 7. Freshly distilled water has a pH value of 7.


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