Acid and Base

Difference Between Acid and Base | Property, Safety and Examples Explained


A myriad of essentials for everyday life like the food we consume and cosmetics, detergent soaps and cooking ingredients are easily classified into two types of substances: acid and base. Effortlessly divide different substances into two categories according to their fundamental chemical properties, chemical composition, and physical properties.

We are aware the acids react differently than bases, but it is not a major distinction between them. If you are interested in understanding the basic differences between acid and base, look at the article! Before we do that, let’s start with the basic info of what the acid is.

But before understanding the acid and base differences, let’s first identify acids and bases.

What is Acid?

A substance or molecule with a pH lower than 7.0 and donates H (Hydrogen) Ions to other compounds is known as Acids. The Acids that are identified are Weak Acids and Strong Acids. Here are some of the key features of Acids which will help you to understand the distinction.

  • The majority of acidic compounds are liquid at room temperature. Formic, Ethanoic, as well as others, can be only a few exceptions.
  • As the acids react with alkali or base, they release water and salt.
  • Acids conduct electricity through the water.
  • Acids turn blue litmus paper red.
  • They cause corrosion to metals.

Types of Acid

It is crucial to look through the various kinds of acids available to comprehend the distinction between base and acid fully.

  • Strong Acids: An acid that completely dissolves its ions within the water is referred to as strong acid. The most popular strong acids include hydrochloric acid, nitric acids and chloric acid. Other examples include hydroiodic acid and perchloric acid.
  • Weak Acids: The acids which dissociate partly in water are called weak acids. All acids, excluding the mentioned acids, are referred to as weak acids.

What is Base?

A substance or molecule that emits hydroxide ions (OH-) after a reaction with water is known as a Base. It is characterised by a pH that’s more than 7.0, and the most common forms are Superbase, Strong Basis, Weak Base and so on. Below are some of the base’s features to aid you in understanding the distinction between base and acid.

  • Bases have a bitter taste.
  • In the case of taking the Litmus exam, the test paper changes colour from red to blue when bases are present.
  • The ions dissociated from the Aqueous Base Solution or base solution that is molten conduct electricity.
  • Bases react vigorously with organic compounds and acids as they’re caustic.
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Types of Base

To help you better comprehend the subject, we have listed below the main kinds of bases:

  • Strong bases: They dissociate the ions in water or into any other substance that could remove a proton from a weak acid are referred to as strong bases. Example: KOH and NaOH.
  • Weak Base: The compounds that cannot completely break apart their ions and dissolve into water are referred to as weak bases.
  • Super Base: These kinds of bases are made through alkali metals in conjunction with their conjugate acid. They are superior to an excellent base.
  • Neutral Bases: compounds that bond between neutral acid and neutral are referred to as neutral bases.
  • Solid Base: These bases can be used in reactions with gaseous acids or within anion exchange resins.
DefinitionArrhenius Definition: A chemical is any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, produces the solution having an activity of hydrogen ions greater than pure water. 

Bronstead Lowry Definition: An acid is a substance that donates a proton.

The definition of Arrhenius: A base is a water-based substance that can accept hydrogen ions. 

Bronstead Lowry Definition Base is any material that can accept a proton.

Physical characteristicsBased on the degree of temperature at which acids are produced, they can be found in liquid, solid or gaseous forms. 

Tastes sour.

Bases are slippery because of reacting to the oils in your hands. Most often, solids are not a problem except for ammonia, which is gas. 

Taste bitter.

Other PropertiesElectrolytes are the conductors of electrical current (because electrolytes) react with numerous metals.Electrolytes, which conduct electricity, can be insoluble or so soluble that they react with water in vapour.
StrengthDepends on the amount of water is determined by the concentration of the hydronium ions.It’s contingent on the concentration of water depending on the amount of hydroxide.
pH ValueA little less than 7.0.Higher than 7.0 and may increase to 14 in the event of stronger bases.
Chemical FormulaAcids have a chemical formula that begins with the letter H at the beginning of its. For example, HCl (Hydrochloric Acid). There’s a caveat to this rule: CH3COOH= Acetic Acid (vinegar)A base is a chemical formula that has an OH at the bottom of it. For example, NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide).
DissociationAcids release hydrogen ions (H ) when they are mixed with water.Bases containing free hydroxide Ions (OH ) are formed when they mix with water.
Litmus testAcids change litmus paper red.Bases change the colour of the paper blue.
PhenolphthaleinRemains colourlessMakes it pink
ExamplesAcetic acid, for example, CH3COOH and sulfuric acid.Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Ammonia (NH3)

Properties of Acids and Bases

Properties of Acids

  • Acids are corrosive. They can be found in nature.
  • When they are reacted with metals, the substances release hydrogen gas
  • Acids are excellent conductors of electricity
  • The PH values for them are always 7
  • Acids are substances that taste sour.

Properties of Bases

  • They are believed to be soapy.
  • The PH values of their patients are always higher than 7.
  • These substances release hydroxide-ion Ions when they dissolve in water
  • In water-based solutions, bases function as an excellent conductor of electricity
  • They are bitter-tasting substances that can change the colour of the red litmus paper blue

Acid vs Base: Safety

Once we’re familiar with the definitions of bases and acids, we must know the distinction between bases and acids regarding security. Students should be aware that both weak and strong bases and acids can be hazardous to health and cause severe burns to the eyes and skin. However, if you use them ideally, there’s a lot of interesting things in them. Therefore, it is essential to use these products with caution. Here are some crucial details related to it

  • Strong acids can have a pH of around one or less according to their concentration. These acids are extremely hazardous since they are extremely reactive.
  • Strong bases with a pH of 13 or more are utilised to bleach the air.


Check the pH of items such as coffee, spit, and soap to find out if they are essential, acidic or neutral. Visualise the proportion of hydroxide ions as well as the hydronium ions present in the solution. Switch between linear and logarithmic scales. Consider whether altering the volume of the liquid or diluting it with water can affect the pH. You can also design the liquid of your choice!

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