Study Of Acid Bases And Salts





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Published on May 4, 2010

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Acids Bases and Salts

An acid (from the Latin acidus meaning sour) is any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a hydrogen ion activity greater than in pure water, i.e. a pH less than 7.0 in its standard state. That approximates the modern definition of Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted and Martin Lowry, who independently defined an acid as a compound which donates a hydrogen ion (H+) to another compound (called a base). Common examples include acetic acid (in vinegar) and sulfuric acid (used in car batteries). Acid/base systems are different from redox reactions in that there is no change in oxidation state. Acids can occur in solid, liquid or gaseous form, depending on the temperature. They can exist as pure substances or in solution. Chemicals or substances having the property of an acid are said to be acidic.
In chemistry, a base is most commonly thought of as an aqueous substance that can accept hydrogen ions. Bases are also the oxides or hydroxides of metals. A soluble base is also often referred to as an alkali if hydroxide ions (OH−) are involved. This refers to the Brønsted-Lowry theory of acids and bases. Alternative definitions of bases include electron pair donors (Lewis), and as sources of hydroxide anions (Arrhenius). In addition to this, bases can commonly be thought of as any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a hydrogen ion activity lower than that of pure water, i.e. a pH higher than 7.0 at standard conditions. Examples of simple bases are sodium hydroxide and ammonia.Bases can be thought of as the chemical opposite of acids. A reaction between an acid and base is called neutralization. Bases and acids are seen as opposites because the effect of an acid is to increase the hydronium ion (H3O+) concentration in water, whereas bases reduce this concentration. Bases react with acids to produce water and salts (or their solutions).
Salt is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess. Salt flavor is one of the basic tastes, making salt one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings. Salting is an important method of food preservation.
Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. It is a crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.
Chloride and sodium ions, the two major components of salt, are needed by all known living creatures in small quantities. Salt is involved in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. However, too much salt increases the risk of health problems, including high blood pressure. Therefore health authorities have recommended limitations of dietary sodium.

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