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Strength of Acids and Bases – Definition, Explanation with Examples

Grade 5
May 31, 2023


The Latin word “acidus” or “acere,” which means “sour,” is where the word “acid” comes from. Their sour flavor is by far the most prevalent feature. Any substance that produces the ionizable hydronium ion (H3O+) in its aqueous solution is considered an acid. It turns blue litmus paper red. The following examples demonstrate how they separate into their constituent ions in their aqueous solution.

They are separated into two categories based on where they are found: natural and mineral acids.

Natural acids: These can be found in foods like fruits and animal products that come from organic sources. Citric, tartaric, and lactic acids, for instance.

source of acids

Mineral acids: Acids generated from minerals are known as mineral acids. Examples include nitric acid (HNO3), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and hydrochloric acid (HCl).

mineral acids

Strong Acid and Weak Acid:

A weak acid only partially ionizes in a solution, whereas strong acids entirely ionize it.


When strong acids come into touch with the skin, they burn severely due to their nature as corrosives.

Strong Base and Weak Base:

Strong base: A base that fully ionizes in water and generates a significant quantity of hydroxide ions.

Weak base: A base that only creates a modest amount of hydroxide ions when it is partially ionized in water.


Bases are most frequently characterized by their bitter flavor and soapy texture. Any material known as a base will produce the hydroxyl ion (OH) in its aqueous solution. Bases cause red litmus paper to turn blue.

The bases separate into their constituent ions, which are shown in the following cases, in their aqueous solution.


Usually, sour tastes help to determine acidic chemicals. A fundamental definition of an acid is a molecule that has the ability to donate an H+ ion and maintain its energetic favorability even after losing H+. Acids are known to turn blue litmus paper crimson.

On the other hand, bases have a bitter flavor and a slick consistency. Alkali is the name for a base that can dissolve in water. Salts are produced when these compounds interact chemically with acids. Bases have a history of turning red litmus blue.


pH Scale:

The pH scale (where pH stands for “potential of hydrogen”) can be used to determine the numerical value of the degree of acidity or basicity of a substance. The most popular and reliable method for determining the basicity or acidity of a substance is the pH scale.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic.

pH scale

Using litmus paper is another approach to determine whether a chemical is basic or acidic. Red and blue litmus paper are the two varieties of litmus paper that can be used to distinguish between acids and bases. Under acidic conditions, blue litmus paper turns red, and under basic or alkaline conditions, red litmus paper turns blue.

Acid Rain:

Due to air pollutants, notably the excessive amounts of sulfur and nitrogen released by machinery and industrial operations, acid rain is made up of water droplets that are extremely acidic. Since this idea encompasses a variety of acidic precipitation, it is frequently referred to as acid rain.

Both wet and dry processes are used to deposit acid. Any type of precipitation that removes acids from the atmosphere and deposits them on the Earth’s surface is referred to as wet deposition. Dry deposition of harmful gases and particles adheres to the ground through dust and smoke in the absence of precipitation.

acid rain

Regular rainfall has an acidic character since its pH is roughly 5.7. Along with the dust particles, the wind also blows away the nitrogen and sulfur oxides. They descend as precipitation before settling on the surface of the Earth. In essence, acid rain is a byproduct of human activities that release nitrogen and sulfur oxides into the atmosphere. Examples include the combustion of fossil fuels and unethical methods of removing waste emissions.

2SO2(g) + O2 (g) + 2H2O(I)→ 2H2SO4 (aq)

4NO2(g) + O2 (g) + 2H2O(I)→ 4HNO3 (aq)

Strength of acids and base


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