Acids, bases and salts
Acids have a pH of less than 7. Bases have a pH of more than 7.
When bases are dissolved in water, they are known as alkalis. Salts
are made when an acid reacts with a base, carbonate or metal. The
name of the salt formed depends on the metal in the base and the
acid used. For example, salts made using hydrochloric acid are
called chlorides.

Acids and bases

Diagram of pH scale and universal indicator colours

Substances with a pH
pH: Scale of acidity/alkalinity. pH below 7 = acidic, pH above 7 =
alkaline of less than 7 are acids
acid: A corrosive substance which has a pH lower than 7. Acidity is
caused by a high concentration of hydrogen ions. The more strongly
acidic the solution, the lower its pH number. Acidic solutions turn blue
litmus paper red. They turn universal indicator paper red if they
are strongly acidic, and orange or yellow if they are weakly acidic.

Alkaline solutions have a pH of more than 7. Alkalis Bases that dissolve in water are called alkalis alkali: A base which is soluble in water. and blue-green if they are weakly alkaline. Metal hydroxides. They are usually metal oxides or metal one such compound.common salt . but they turn universal indicator paper green. Sodium hydroxide is an alkali because it does dissolve in water.the result of hydrogen atoms in the acid being replaced by metal atoms or positive ions. They do not change the colour of litmus paper. Bases react with acids to form a salt and water (called neutralisation). Neutral solutions Neutral solutions have a pH of 7. Alkalis turn red litmus paper blue. The stronger the alkali. . the higher the pH number. them to make a salt salt: A compound formed by neutralisation of an acid by a base (eg a metal oxide) .and water are called bases base: A substance with a pH higher than 7. copper oxide and sodium hydroxide are bases. oxides and carbonates are all bases. and which has a high concentration of hydroxyl ions. Water is neutral.Bases Substances that can react with acids and neutralize neutralisation: Neutralisation is the reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt plus water. They turn universal indicator paper dark blue or purple if they are strongly alkaline. For example. Sodium chloride . Copper oxide is not an alkali because it does not dissolve in water..

State symbols State symbols are used in symbol equations:   (s) means solid (l) means liquid (not the same as dissolved in water . H+ (aq). surrounded by electrons or groups of atoms. you need to know which ions are produced by acids. An atom consists of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons. For the examination.. You will also need to know the ionic equation for neutralisation neutralisation: Neutralisation is the reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt plus water. lose or gain electrons electron: An electron is a very small negatively-charged particle found in an atom in the space surrounding the nucleus. and which are produced by alkalis.see below)  (g) means gas  (aq) means aqueous (dissolved in water) Acids When acids dissolve in water they produce aqueous hydrogen ions. looking at hydrochloric acid: HCl(aq) → H+(aq) + Cl–(aq) .Neutralisation reactions Ions are charged particles charged particle: A particle that carries an electric charge. For example. which are formed when atom atom: All elements are made of atoms.

and which has a high concentration of hydroxyl ions. For example. Neutralisation reaction When the H+(aq) ions from an acid react with the OH–(aq) ions from an alkali. and the alkali contains Na+ions and OH– ions. a neutralisation reaction occurs to form water. This is the equation for the reaction: H+(aq) + OH–(aq) → H2O(l) For example. looking at sodium hydroxide: NaOH(aq) → Na+(aq) + OH–(aq) Ammonia is slightly different. oxides and carbonates .Alkalis When alkalis dissolve in water they produce aqueous hydroxide ions. The acid contains H+ ions and Cl– ions. hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide solution react together to form water and sodium chloride solution. Metal hydroxides. NaCl(aq). Making soluble salts You need to be able to describe the reactions of acids with bases base: A substance with a pH higher than 7. The H+ ions and OH– ions produce the water. This is the equation for ammonia in solution: NH3(aq) + H2O(l) → NH4+(aq) + OH–(aq) Be careful to write OH– and not Oh– or oh–. Bases react with acids to form a salt and water (called neutralisation). and the Na+ ions and Cl– ions produce the sodium chloride. OH–(aq).

to make a salt and hydrogen:  acid + metal → salt + hydrogen The hydrogen causes bubbling during the reaction. Naming salts The name of the salt produced in a neutralisation reaction can be predicted. Otherwise. Sodium chloride . it is also called an alkali. it is the name of the metalin the base. formed in the reaction. The second part of the name comes from the acidused:    Chloride (if hydrochloric acid is used) Nitrate (if nitric acid is used) Sulfate (if sulfuric acid is used) The table shows some examples: . Reactive metals Acids will react with reactive metals. and can be detected using a lighted splint. But if a base can dissolve in one such compound. Acids and bases When acids react with bases. You should be able to work out the particular salt salt: A compound formed by neutralisation of an acid by a base (eg a metal oxide) . The first part of the name is 'ammonium' if the base used is ammonia. such as magnesium and zinc.common salt .the result of hydrogen atoms in the acid being replaced by metal atoms or positive ions. and metals. a salt and water are made:   acid + metal oxide → salt + water acid + metal hydroxide → salt + water Remember that most bases do not dissolve in water.are all bases.

You get larger crystals if you evaporate the water slowly. If the base dissolves in water. If ammonia solution is used. Warm the salt solution to evaporate evaporation: The process in which a liquid turns into a gas the water. Check a small sample with universal indicator paper universal indicator paper: Paper stained with universal indicator. you can add a little more than needed to get a neutral solution. made by the reaction of an acid with ammonia solution. you need to add just enough acid to make a neutral solution. .Acid + Base → Salt + Water Hydrochloric acid + Copper oxide → Copper chloride + water Sulfuric acid + Sodium hydroxide → Sodium sulfate + water Nitric acid + Calcium hydroxide → Calcium nitrate + water Ammonium salts Many artificial fertilisers are ammonium salts. a chemical solution that produces many different colour changes corresponding to different pH levels. For example: Acid Alkali Fertiliser Nitric acid Ammonia solution Ammonium nitrate Phosphoric acid Ammonia solution Ammonium phosphate Sulfuric acid Ammonia solution Ammonium sulfate Crystallising salt solutions You may be asked to describe how to make a soluble salt.

Soluble and insoluble salts Soluble Insoluble All nitrates None Most sulfates Lead. you need an extra step. You filter the mixture to remove the excess base. lead Sodium carbonate. calcium Most positively charged hydrogen.Copper oxide. ion: Positively. Ion charge helps determine a substance's acidity or alkalinity together. do not dissolve in water. barium. then evaporate the water in the filtrate filtrate: Filtrate is fluid that has passed through a filter. Making insoluble salts Insoluble salts do not dissolve in water. bromides and iodides Silver. and other transition metal oxides or hydroxides. to leave the salt behind. ammonium carbonate Most other hydroxides . ammonium carbonate Most other carbonates Sodium hydroxide. potassium hydroxide. You add the base to the acid until no more will dissolve and you have some base left over (called an excess). potassium carbonate. sodium and potassium atoms. They can be made by mixing appropriate solutions of ions together.or negatively-charged particles . If the base does not dissolve in water.

one of which is finely divided throughout the other. This is why many of the chemicals you use in the laboratory are nitrates or forms a precipitate precipitate: A suspension of particles in a liquid (formed when a previously dissolved substance becomes insoluble). Silver nitrate and sodium chloride are both soluble. If you want to make an insoluble salt.Notice that all nitrates and most chlorides are soluble. Making an insoluble salt Silver chloride is insoluble . Remember: if you want to make an insoluble salt XY. Using precipitation reactions . and then dried in an oven. The precipitate can be filtered. in the reaction mixture . When you mix their solutions together. washed with water on the filter paper. mixing X nitrate with sodium Y will always work. you make soluble sodium nitrate and insoluble silver chloride:  silver nitrate + sodium chloride → sodium nitrate + silver chloride  AgNO3(aq) + NaCl(aq) → NaNO3(aq) +AgCl(s) The silver chloride appears as tiny particles suspended suspension: A mixture of two substances. you can react together two soluble salts in a precipitation reaction precipitation reaction: A reaction in which an insoluble solid is formed when certain solutions are mixed. You need a soluble silver salt and a soluble chloride salt to make it. X is silver and Y is chloride. In the example can see this from the table.

This is useful for treating drinking water and waste water. .Precipitation reactions can be used to remove unwanted ions in solution.