The basic concept
of acids and bases

There are several methods of defining acids and bases. However, the main difference are how inclusive they are. But we stick to one of the goals of this site and provide a simple explanation.

What is an acid?

A solution that has an excess of H+ ions. When an acid is poured into water, it gives up H (hydrogen) to the water. For example, hydrochloric acid (HCl) dissolves in water:

What is an acid
acids and bases

Note: There are six strong acids:

• HCl - hydrochloric acid
• HNO3 - nitric acid
• H2SO4 - sulfuric acid
• HBr - hydrobromic acid
• Hl - hydroiodic acid
• HClO4 - perchloric acid

What is a base?

A solution that has an excess of OH- ions. When a base (alkali) is poured into water, it gives up OH (hydroxide) to the water.

For example, Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye and caustic soda, dissolves in water as follows:

What is a base

There are also other ions that make solutions acidic and alkaline, but we won't be talking about them here.

Acid alkaline reaction

Acids and bases react with one another to yield two products: water, and an ionic compound known as a salt. This kind of reaction is called a neutralization reaction.

Acid alkaline reaction

Neutralization reactions are frequently used in the laboratory to determine how much of an alkaline or acid compound is present in a substance.

What about water?

Water is acidic and basic simultaneously, H2O : H+ OH-. A neutral solution has equal amounts of H+ and OH-, as is the case for pure water.

Share your point of view with others!

Take the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences with others.

Please, use the form below to publish your contribution about the subject "Acids and Bases". Before your page is published, it will be reviewed to make sure it applies to the submission guidelines for this website.

Don't forget to read what others have written, maybe you have a comment to add.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Weak acids and bases 
Strong acids and bases have been mention. Let's also give some examples of weak acids and bases. Weak acids and bases are only partially ionized in their …

Strong bases 
Acids and bases that are fully ionized when dissolved in water are called strong acids and strong bases. There are six strong acids, which have already …

Click here to write your own. - Click Here for ALL Your Office Supply Needs!


Download the new release ISO 14001:2015

h ions