Acids and Bases


Acids and bases are a common part of everyday life and depending on the strength of the acid or base can be quite dangerous. The simple hydrogen ion or proton (H+) plays an important role in several chemical and all biological systems. Acids and bases is a topic with lots of real world examples, which makes it an interesting and relevant topic.


Online Resources               Home    Chemistry    Top               Previous    Next


  • Acid-Base Solutions – PhET – interactive on acids and bases where students can change various conditions and observe the effect on the composition of acid and base molecules in the solution. There are two tabs. In the “Introduction” tab, students can choose from 5 solutions (water, strong acid, weak acid, strong base, weak base) and perform 3 tests (pH meter, pH paper and conductivity). In the “Custom Solution” tab, the same tests can be performed but students can adjust the concentration and strength of the solution to see how it affects the solution
  • Acid Lake – Teacher’s Domain – animated slideshow that looks at the effect of acid rain on a lake. Each slide reduces the pH level in the lake and explains the effects on plants and animals in the ecosystem. Contains a brief introduction to the pH scale
  • Virtual Lab – The Chemistry Collective – online lab where students can mix several acids and bases to see the effects on pH and the concentration of each species
  • Water – Cell Biology Animation – animated slideshow that takes an in-depth look at the structure of water, the interaction between different water molecules (including the structure of ice), the hydronium and hydroxyl ions, an introduction to acids, the concentration of H+ ions [H+] in a solution and the relationship between [H+] and pH. The slideshow finishes with a pH slider that shows the concentration of H+ ions and common household items


Real World               Home    Chemistry    Top               Previous    Next


    • acid rain – the combustion of fossil fuels at coal power plants, factories and motor vehicles releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (pollution) into the atmosphere. These gases react with water and produce acid. Acid rain affects waterways, aquatic life, soils, forests and damages buildings and statues

  • ammonia – NH3 – ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH) is used in cleaning products
  • ant bites – formic acid – HCOOH
  • baking soda – sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate – NaHCO3 – used in baking – when mixed with other acids in the food it release CO2, which makes the food rise, e.g. bread, cakes
  • battery acid – sulfuric acid – H2SO4
  • bleach – used in cleaning – hydrogen peroxide – H2O2
  • blood – pH = 7.4 – the pH of blood is influenced mainly by the reaction of carbon dioxide (CO2) with water (H2O) to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), which breaks down into the bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and the hydrogen ion (H+)
  • cheese – rennet (a complex of enzymes isolated from stomach acid) is added to milk, which acidifies and curdles the proteins in the milk. The curds are collected to make cheese
  • corrosive placard – part of the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) code. All transport that carries large volumes of corrosive materials are required to display the placard on the vehicle
  • digestive system
    • mouth – pH = 6.8 – bacteria produce plaque acids
    • stomach – pH = 2.0
    • small intestine – pH = 7.6
  • jellyfish sting – Box Jellyfish – recommended on-the-spot treatment is vinegar, which disables the nematocysts the jellyfish fires into the skin, until an antivenom can be administered
  • lactic acid – produced in muscles during strenuous exercise – when the body needs a quick source of energy (ATP), the energy stored in the chemical bonds of glucose is broken down without using oxygen (anaerobic respiration) in a process called glycolysis. Glycolysis produces 2 molecules of ATP per 1 molecule of glucose, which are used to power muscle contraction. The end product in glycolysis is pyruvate. Pyruvate is normally transported into the mitochondria to be broken down further using oxygen (aerobic respiration). This produces an additional 36 ATP molecules. However, this process is too slow when the body needs energy quickly. Pyruvate starts to build up in the cytosol and inhibits the breakdown of further glucose by negative feedback inhibition of the enzymes in glycolysis. What the cells do is convert the excess pyruvate into lactic acid. This reduces the amount of pyruvate in the cell, which prevents negative feedback inhibition and allows the cell to continue to breakdown glucose and produce ATP quickly.
  • oranges, lemons and limes – citric acid – C6H8O7. Citric acid is the first molecule in the citric acid cycle (also called the Kreb's cycle or TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle). The citric acid cycle is the second stage (after glycolysis and before the electron transport chain) in the aerobic breakdown of glucose to produce ATP. It occurs in the mitochondria and produces 3 NADH, 1 FADH2 and 1 GTP (equivalent to ATP) per cycle. NADH and FADH2 feed into the electron transport chain to produce 3 ATP and 2 ATP per molecule respectively.
  • sherbet – an effervescent sweet powder that bubbles when eaten. Saliva in the mouth provides the water allowing the chemical reaction to occur. CO2 bubbles are produced when the edible acid (citric acid, malic acid or tartaric acid) and edible base (sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate or magnesium carbonate) react in the presence of water (saliva) to produce carbon dioxide and a chemical salt. Flavouring is added to make the sherbet taste sweet but this flavouring plays no role in the chemical reaction.
  • soft drinks – carbonic acid – H2CO3 – carbon dioxide gas is forced into solution under high pressure and reaction of the carbon dioxide (CO2) with water (H2O) produces carbonic acid (H2CO3). Carbonic acid dissociates in solution to form bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) and hydrogen ions (H+). The same process occurs in our bloodstream when carbon dioxide is released from cells as a biproduct of cellular respiration, except that the concentration of carbon dioxide is much lower and the pH in the blood is tightly regulated.
  • stomach acid – hydrochloric acid – HCl
  • swimming pool – hypochlorous acid – HOCl
  • tooth whitening – bleach – hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 ) or carbamide peroxide (CH6N2O3)
  • toothpaste – contains several basic compounds that neutralize plaque acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and act as abrasives – most cleaning of the teeth comes from the physical action of brushing teeth, rather than chemical action
  • vinegar – acetic acid
  • vitamin C – ascorbic acid – H2C6H6O6
  • White King – cleaning product
    • sodium hydroxide – NaOH
    • sodium hypochlorite – NaOCl


Key Knowledge               Home    Chemistry    Top               Previous    Next


  • acid – a chemical that donates H+
  • base – a chemical that receives H+
  • pH – a measure of the concentration of H+ ions in a solution
  • pH scale – pH 0 to 14
  • strong acids/bases and weak acids/bases
    • strong acids – acids with a low pH
    • weak acids – acids with a high pH
    • neutral – substances with a pH of 7.0
    • weak bases – bases with a low pH
    • strong bases – bases with a high pH
  • pH calculations
    • pH is a logarithmic scale – this means that an increase in 1 pH unit is a 10 times increase in the H+ concentration, e.g. pH 4.2 contains 10 times the amount of H+ than pH 3.2
    • pH = -log10[H+]
    • [H+] = 10-pH
  • corrosive – placard
  • pH indicator – a chemical that changes colour in solution depending on the concentration of H+ ions
  • buffer – a solution that resists changes in pH
  • neutralization – acid + base --> salt + water
  • MASH – metal + acid --> salt + hydrogen


Topic Ideas               Home    Chemistry    Top               Previous    Next


  • cheese making – students can make ricotta cheese by mixing vinegar with milk 


Images               Home    Chemistry    Top               Previous    Next


  • Seen an amazing image? Let me know! Contact me here. Please remember that I need permission to use images on this website. So if you can provide a link to the original image or even the credits (author, title, URL) and confirmation that I have permission to use the image that would be great.


#81 Wanda 2014-11-16 17:14
We've been presenting Nearly a dozen Namecoin to
our very lucky winner of a blog website manager with the targeted prize number.
The final results is normally out in 4-weeks time. The prize code is:

my weblog: Reviews on Pregnancy Miracle:
#82 Lizzie 2014-11-17 10:17
Its like you read my mind! You appear to
know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it
or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read.
I will certainly be back.

Here is my web-site: Does Adonis Golden Ratio Work (Renate:
#83 Agueda 2014-11-18 03:06
naturally like your web site however you need to check the
spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are
rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I will surely
come again again.

Here is my blog ... Adonis Golden Ratio Scam (
#84 Davis 2014-11-23 04:59
Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I'm inspired!
Very helpful information specifically the ultimate section :) I care
for such information much. I was seeking this certain information for a very long
time. Thank you and good luck.

Take a look at my web page: Does Old
School New Body Work:
#85 Marcy 2014-11-24 23:55
Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would
love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot
me an email.

Feel free to visit my web-site: Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer Review - Charolette: -
#86 Charis 2014-11-25 20:01
We have just developed a software that can very easily scrape appropriate contents of an issue (and the
topic your websites is focused on) with the various search engines to put together immense 100% copyscrape-passed contents.
Could you be fascinated to analyze it?

Here is my web blog Is Truth About Cellulite
a Scam [Geneva:]
#87 Douglas 2014-11-27 07:01
Congratulations are in order! Here is the award number:
OHNKP2. You would need this in future. It will be for a exceptional
opt-in promotion to acquire some thing free. We're going to use our computer program to surf websites on multiple web
sites to seek out our champ in 4 weeks time!

Here is my site; Old School New Body Review - oldschoolnewbodyrevi -
#88 Katia 2014-11-28 19:30
We have been offering Nearly a dozen Namecoin for the fortunate bastard of a blogging site creator with the chosen prize code.
The final results will be available in 1 month time. Your own prize code
is: GZIES9

Here is my web page :: The Truth About Six
Pack Abs Review:
#89 Ned 2014-12-04 22:47
To the blog post operator, can I inquire about how does one handle spammy posts?
We're pleased to invest mainly for tips and advice regarding how to tackle it!

My homepage - The Diabetes Protocol:
#90 Celesta 2014-12-07 16:01
I do not know whether it's just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing
issues with your blog. It appears as if some of the text within your posts
are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment
and let me know if this is happening to them too?
This may be a problem with my browser because I've had this happen before.

Here is my web site ... Best Teeth Whitening:
#91 Una 2014-12-12 07:49
Congratulations are in order! Here is your prize number: SZSWP1.
You must have this in the future. It will be for a exceptional opt-in promotion in order to get something completely free.
We'll use our computer software to surf weblogs all round
the web to seek out our champion in One month time!

Here is my web-site - Thomas Coleman's Tinnitus Miracle:
#92 Elijah 2014-12-17 08:51
constantly i used to read smaller articles which
also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
article which I am reading now.

Feel free to visit my website - Download somanabolic muscle maximizer pdf:

Add comment

Security code