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Measure of Acids

Essay by   •  April 21, 2011  •  Essay  •  334 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,596 Views

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The pH scale is the measure of acids and bases on a scale numbering from 0-14 and zero being the strongest. The numbers from 0-6 are the strongest acids that would be like stomach acid to alkaline battery acid. Seven is neutral because it is water and water makes most chemicals neutrals there for it was place to be a neutral and the pH scale. And 8-14 are the basics and are the ones that either soak up water or dissolve in the water. An acid is a substance that donates hydrogen ions. Because of this, when an acid is dissolved in water the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions is shifted. Now there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions in the solution. This kind of solution is acidic. A base is a substance that accepts hydrogen ions. When a base is dissolved in water, the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions shifts the opposite way. Because the base "soaks up" hydrogen ions, the result is a solution with more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions. This kind of solution is alkaline.

Acidity and alkalinity are measured with a logarithmic scale called pH. Here's why: a strongly acidic solution can have one hundred million (100,000,000,000,000) times more hydrogen ions than a strongly basic solution! The flip side of course is that a strongly basic solution can have 100,000,000,000,000 times more hydroxide ions than a strongly acidic solution. Also the hydrogen ion and hydroxide ion concentrations in everyday solutions can vary over that entire range. The more that we try to make these things work the more we get to find out how we can make some chemicals stable and how we can make some liquids such as cleaning liquids more affective on impact and to make it protect as well. Acidic and basic are two extremes that describe chemical property chemicals. Mixing acids and bases can cancel out or neutralize their extreme effects. A substance that is neither acidic nor basic is neutral.

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