You have learnt in your previous classes that the sour and bitter
tastes of food are due to acids and bases, respectively, present in them.
If someone in the family is suffering from a problem of acidity after
overeating, which of the following would you suggest as a remedy– lemon
juice, vinegar or baking soda solution?
1. Which property did you think of while choosing the remedy? Surely you must have used your knowledge about the ability of acids and bases to nullify each other's effect.
2.1.1 Acids and Bases in the Laboratory
Activity 2.1 : Collect the following samples from the science laboratory– hydrochloric acid (HCl), sulphuric acid (H2SO4), nitric acid (HNO3), acetic acid (CH3COOH), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2], potassium hydroxide (KOH), magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)2], and ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH).
In Section 2.1 we have seen that all acids have similar chemical properties. What leads to this similarity in properties? We saw in Activity 2.3 that all acids generate hydrogen gas on reacting with metals, so hydrogen seems to be common to all acids. Let us perform an Activity to investigate whether all compounds containing hydrogen are acidic.
We know how acid-base indicators can be used to distinguish between an acid and a base. We have also learnt in the previous section about dilution and decrease in concentration of H+ or OH– ions in solutions. Can we quantitatively find the amount of these ions present in a solution? Can we judge how strong a given acid or base is?
In the previous sections we have seen the formation of salts during various reactions. Let us understand more about their preparation, properties and uses.