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Acids and Alkali

Updated on March 27, 2015


Acids and alkali are substances that are used in the manufacturing industry and in our daily lives. There are many types of acids and alkali. Citric acid and sulfuric acid are types of acid while calcium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are types of alkali

pH Levels

The pH level determines if a substance is acidic or alkaline. If the pH is within 1 to 6, it's acidic. If it's above 7 it's alkaline. The pH level of 7 means the substance is neutral. The lower the pH level, the more acidic a substance is. The higher the pH level, the more alkaline the substance is. You can determine the pH level of a substance by using a universal pH level indicator or a pH meter.

Acid + Alkali = Salt + Water

When an acid reacts with an alkali they neutralize and form a type of salt and water. To extract the salt you'll need to distill the water. Example : potassium hydroxide + sulfuric acid = potassium sulfate + water. If a carbonate reacts with an acid the products are water, salt and carbon dioxide. Example : calcium carbonate + nitric acid = calcium nitrate + water + carbon dioxide.

General equations

  1. Acid + Alkali = Salt + Water
  2. Acid + Carbonate = Salt + Water + Carbon Dioxide

This are the general equations for a neutralization reaction.

Examples of Salt

Potassium Hydroxide + Hydrochloric acid = Potassium Chloride

Calcium Hydroxide + Sulfuric acid = Calcium Sulfate

Zinc Hydroxide + Nitric acid = Zinc Nitrate


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