Class 10 Chemistry



Acid Base and Salt

Strength of Acid and Base

Acids in which complete dissociation of hydrogen ion takes place are called strong acid. Similarly, bases in which complete dissociation of hydroxide ion takes place are called strong base.

In mineral acids, such as hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, etc. hydrogen ion dissociates completely and hence they are considered as strong acid. Since, in organic acids hydrogen ions do not dissociate completely, so they are weak acid.

Alkalis are water soluble base, thus in alkali; complete dissociation of hydroxide ions takes place and they are considered as strong base.




The complete dissociation of hydrogen ions or hydroxide ions is shown by a single arrow. The incomplete dissociation of hydrogen ions or hydroxide ions is denoted by double arrow.

Example of complete dissociation:

NaOH (aq) ⇨ Na+ + OH

HCl ⇨ H+ + Cl

Example of incomplete dissociation:

Mg(OH)2 ⇨ Mg+ + + OH− −

CH3COOH ⇨ CH3COO + H+

Although acetic acid being an organic acid is a weak acid, but concentrated acetic acid is corrosive and can damage the skin if poured over it.

pH – Measurement of strength of Acid and Base

The strength of acid or base depends upon the hydrogen ion concentration. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is greater than hydroxide ion, the solution is called acidic. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is smaller than the hydroxide ion, the solution is called basic. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is equal to the concentration of hydroxide ion, the solution is called neutral solution.

pH is a scale which quantifies the concentration of hydrogen ion in a solution. The range of pH scale is between 0 to 14.

The pH value decreases with increase in hydrogen ion concentration. If the value of pH is 0, this shows maximum hydrogen ion concentration. pH value equal to 14 shows lowest hydrogen ion concentration. pH value equal to 7 shows the hydrogen ion concentration is equal to hydroxide ion concentration.

A neutral solution, such as distilled water has value of hydrogen ion concentration equal to 7 on pH scale. The acidic solution has value of hydrogen ion concentration less than 7 on pH scale. The basic solution has value of hydrogen ion concentration greater than 7 on pH scale.

In pH scale ‘p’ stands for ‘potenz’. Potenz is a German word which means ‘power’ or ‘potential’. Here; ‘H’ stands for hydrogen ion. Thus, pH means the potential of hydrogen or power of hydrogen.

pH is defined as the decimal logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion activity (a(H+ )), in a solution.

ph logarithm formula
ph scale

Indicator:

Substances which show the acidic or basic behavior of other substance by change in colour are known as indicator.

Type of Indicator: There are many types of indicators. Some common types of indicators are

  • Natural
  • Olfactory Indicator
  • Synthetic Indicator
  • Universal Indicator

Natural Indicator: Indicators obtained from natural sources are called natural indicators. Litmus, turmeric, red cabbage, China rose, etc. are some common natural indicators used widely to show the acidic or basic character of substances.

Litmus: Litmus is obtained from lichens. The solution of litmus is purple in colour. Litmus paper comes in two colour – blue and red.

  • An acid turns blue litmus paper red.
  • A base turns red litmus paper blue.

Turmeric: Turmeric is another natural indicator. Turmeric is yellow in colour. Turmeric solution or paper turns reddish brown with base. Turmeric does not change colour with acid.

Red cabbage: The juice of red cabbage is originally purple in colour. Juice of red cabbage turns reddish with acid and turns greenish with base.

Olfactory Indicators: Substances which change their smell when mixed with acid or base are known as olfactory indicators. For example onion, vanilla, clove, etc.

Onion: Paste or juice of onion loses its smell when added with base. It does not change its smell with acid.

Vanilla: The smell of vanilla vanishes with base, but it’s smell does not vanishes with an acid.

Olfactory indicators are used to ensure the participation of visually impaired students in laboratory.

Synthetic Indicator: Indicators that are synthesized in laboratory are known as synthetic indicators. For example; phenolphthalein, methyl orange, etc.

Phenolphthalein is a colourless liquid. It remains colourless with acid but turns into pink with a base.

Methyl orange is originally orange in colour. It turns into red with acid and turns into yellow with base.

Indicator Original colour Acid Base
Red litmus Red No change Blue
Blue litmus Blue Red No change
Turmeric Yellow No change Reddish brown
Red cabbage juice Purple Reddish Greenish yellow
Phenolphthalein Colourless Colourless Pink
Methyl orange Orange Red Yellow
Onion n/a No change Smell vanishes
Vanilla n/a No change Smell vanishes

Universal Indicator:

Using a litmus paper, phelophthalein, methyl orange, etc. only the acidic or basic character of a solution can be determined, but use of these indicators does not give the idea about the strength of acid or base. So, to get the strength as well as acidic and basic nature of a given solution universal indicator is used.

Universal indicator shows different colour over the range of pH value from 1 to 14 for a given solution. Universal indicator is available both in the form of strips and solution. Universal indicator is the combination of many indicators, such as water, propanol, phelophthalein, sodium salt, sodium hydroxide, methyl red, bromothymol blue monosodium salt, and thymol blue monosodium salt. The colour matching chart is supplied with universal indicator which shows the different colours for different values of pH.

ph color chart universal indicator

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Acid

Base

Common properties

Salts

Common Salt

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