 Assess the use of neutralization reactions to minimize damage in

accidents or chemicals
 Look at relationships and the
Weigh up two different situations (positives and negatives)
Use of neutralization vs other methods such as copius amounts of water
Positive effects of using neutralization vs negative effects
Positive effects of using alternative methods versis negative effects
Finally state your judgement or conclusion

A neutralisation reaction is an exothermic chemical reaction involving proton
transfer, where an acid and a base interact to form a salt and sometimes water.
Employing this concept, neutralization reactions may be used in laboratories to clean
up accidental acid and base spills on workbenches of flooring. But because of the
exothermic nature of the neutralisation process, we should never use strong acids or
bases in cleaning up spills as excess employment of these substances, where itself is
caustic or corrosive in damage will cause further damage and evolve noxious fumes.
When there is solution or concentrated acid has been accidentally spilled on the
bench or floor, the spill area may need to be isolated and can be neutralized with
commonly used Sodium Bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is good to minimize
acid/base spills due to its amphiprotic nature and




There are many advantages of using neutralization reactions
including the ability to change
can be used in laboratories to clean up after acids or bases have been
accidentally spilled on the workbench or floor.
Large spill – sand (contain and absorb it) – collect and neutralize
later
Na2Co3 can be used in excess
Wash it away with continuous running water to keep it cool because
of corrosive nature of acid/base








Consider the circumstances where an acid solution or concentrated
acid has been accidentally spilled on the bench or floor. The spill
area may need to be isolated, and people evacuated if fumes are
present. If the acid has been spilled on a person’s clothes or skin,
then immediate first aid must be administered. This usually means
flushing the skin or clothing with copious amounts of water to
prevent damage.
The next step in the clean-up is to isolate the spill. This can be done
with sand or vermiculite to prevent the acid flowing out to
contaminate other areas. The acid-soaked sand or vermiculite can
then be cleaned up and neutralised in a safe location. Some
authorities suggest that a concentrated acid spill should be diluted
with water before the acid is neutralised with a base. The reason is
that a great amount of heat is released on neutralisation of a
concentrated acid. This can be best achieved using an excess of a
powdered base such as sodium carbonate or sodium hydrogen
carbonate.
Sodium carbonate is commonly used as it is a stable solid that is safe
to handle. It is also the cheapest of the bases commonly available.
Sodium carbonate neutralises the acid; carbon dioxide and water, as
well as the sodium salt of the acid, are formed. Excess sodium
carbonate is easily cleaned up by dilution with water.
Na
2
CO
3
(s) + 2HCl(aq) 2NaCl(aq) + H
2
O(l) + CO
2
(g)
Sodium hydrogen carbonate is also commonly used to clean up acid
spills. It is a weak base that is non-toxic.
NaHCO
3
(s) + HCl(aq) NaCl(aq) + H
2
O(l) + CO
2
(g)