Acids and Bases- Uses and Types


Acid is a substance which releases hydrogen ion and bases are the substance which releases hydroxide ions in water. An atom when accepts or releases electrons, it forms an ion. When an atom gains an electron, it is known as an anion whereas when it loses electrons, it forms a cation.

When ions are present in water, they help in the conduction of electricity and the substance is known as an electrolyte. In 1885, Svante Arrhenius presented the idea of electrolytic dissociation, and he believed that the acidic and basic nature of a substance can be analyzed by dissolving it in water.

According to Arrhenius:

  • Acids are the substances that produce hydrogen ions in water. So we can define an acid as a substance that when added to water increases the number of H+ ions in water.
  • Bases are the substances which release OH ions in water. It can be defined as a substance that when added to water increases the number of OH ions in water.

For example:

HCl can be referred to as acid because when added to water, it produces H+ ions.

NaOH when mixed with water releases OH ions, so it is a base.

Acid and Base

Neutralization reaction occurs when hydrogen ions react with the hydroxide ions in the solution to form water.

H+(aq)               +           OH (aq)       \(\Rightarrow\)      H2O (l)

Uses of Acids:

  • Uses of sulphuric acid (H2SO4):
  1. It is used as battery acid.
  2. Sulphuric acid is used in ore processing.
  3. It is also used in oil refining.
  4. In fertilizer manufacturing industries.
  • Uses of hydrochloric acid:
  1. Hydrochloric acid is used in the cleaning of metals.
  2. It is used in removing scales from boilers.

We might have heard about Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the USA. It is 91.5 m tall and weighs about 200 tons. The outer layer of the statue is made up of 300 copper plates. It was initially copper brown in color, but now it has turned to green color because of moisture and air. HCl is the most suitable acid theoretically to remove the rust layer.

Uses of Base:

  • Sodium Hydroxide is one of the most common components which is used in the manufacture of soap, ‘rayon’ (a synthetic fiber) and paper.
  • Calcium Hydroxide can remove Sulfur Dioxide and is often used in factories and power plants.

In this article, we came across acids and bases and got to know about the uses of some acids. To find out more about it and to visualize how hydrogen ions are released in water, download our app from Google Play store.

Practise This Question

Aqueous solution of HCl has the pH = 4. Its molarity would be