Skip to content Skip to navigation Skip to collection information

OpenStax-CNX

You are here: Home » Content » Siyavula textbooks: Grade 11 Physical Science » Acid-base reactions

Navigation

Table of Contents

Lenses

What is a lens?

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

This content is ...

Affiliated with (What does "Affiliated with" mean?)

This content is either by members of the organizations listed or about topics related to the organizations listed. Click each link to see a list of all content affiliated with the organization.
  • FETChem display tagshide tags

    This module is included inLens: Siyavula: Chemistry (Gr. 10-12)
    By: Siyavula

    Review Status: In Review

    Click the "FETChem" link to see all content affiliated with them.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

  • Bookshare

    This collection is included inLens: Bookshare's Lens
    By: Bookshare - A Benetech Initiative

    Comments:

    "Accessible versions of this collection are available at Bookshare. DAISY and BRF provided."

    Click the "Bookshare" link to see all content affiliated with them.

  • Siyavula: Physical Science display tagshide tags

    This collection is included inLens: Siyavula textbooks: Physical Science
    By: Free High School Science Texts Project

    Click the "Siyavula: Physical Science" link to see all content affiliated with them.

    Click the tag icon tag icon to display tags associated with this content.

Also in these lenses

  • Siyavula : FET Physics

    This collection is included inLens: Siyavula : FET Physics
    By: Nerk van Rossum

    Click the "Siyavula : FET Physics" link to see all content selected in this lens.

Recently Viewed

This feature requires Javascript to be enabled.

Tags

(What is a tag?)

These tags come from the endorsement, affiliation, and other lenses that include this content.
 

Introduction

There are many different types of chemical reactions that can take place. In this chapter, we will be looking at a few of the more common reaction types: acid-base and acid-carbonate reactions, redox reactions and addition, elimination and substitution reactions.

Acid-base reactions

What are acids and bases?

In our daily lives, we encounter many examples of acids and bases. In the home, vinegar (acetic acid), lemon juice (citric acid) and tartaric acid (the main acid found in wine) are common, while hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nitric acid are examples of acids that are more likely to be found in laboratories and industry. Hydrochloric acid is also found in the gastric juices in the stomach. Even fizzy drinks contain acid (carbonic acid), as do tea and wine (tannic acid)! Bases that you may have heard of include sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), ammonium hydroxide and ammonia. Some of these are found in household cleaning products. Acids and bases are also important commercial products in the fertiliser, plastics and petroleum refining industries. Some common acids and bases, and their chemical formulae, are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Some common acids and bases and their chemical formulae
Acid Formula Base Formula
Hydrochoric acid HCl Sodium hydroxide NaOH
Sulfuric acid H22SO44 Potassium hydroxide KOH
Nitric acid HNO33 Sodium carbonate Na22CO33
Acetic (ethanoic) acid CH33COOH Calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)22
Carbonic acid H22CO33 Magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)22
Sulfurous acid H22SO33 Ammonia NH33
Phosphoric acid H33PO44 Sodium bicarbonate NaHCO33

Most acids share certain characteristics, and most bases also share similar characteristics. It is important to be able to have a definition for acids and bases so that they can be correctly identified in reactions.

Defining acids and bases

A number of definitions for acids and bases have developed over the years. One of the earliest was the Arrhenius definition. Arrhenius (1887) noticed that water dissociates (splits up) into hydronium (H33O++) and hydroxide (OH--) ions according to the following equation:

H 2 O H 3 O + + OH - H 2 O H 3 O + + OH -

Tip:

For more information on dissociation, refer to Grade 10.

Arrhenius described an acid as a compound that increases the concentration of H33O++ ions in solution, and a base as a compound that increases the concentration of OH-- ions in a solution. Look at the following examples showing the dissociation of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide (a base) respectively:

  1. HCl +H2OH3O++ Cl - HCl +H2OH3O++ Cl - Hydrochloric acid in water increases the concentration of H33O++ ions and is therefore an acid.
  2. NaOH +H2O Na ++ OH - NaOH +H2O Na ++ OH - Sodium hydroxide in water increases the concentration of OH-- ions and is therefore a base.

However, this definition could only be used for acids and bases in water. It was important to come up with a much broader definition for acids and bases.

It was Lowry and Bronsted (1923) who took the work of Arrhenius further to develop a broader definition for acids and bases. The Bronsted-Lowry model defines acids and bases in terms of their ability to donate or accept protons.

Definition 1: Acids and bases

According to the Bronsted-Lowry theory of acids and bases, an acid is a substance that gives away protons (H++), and is therefore called a proton donor. A base is a substance that takes up protons, and is therefore called a proton acceptor.

Below are some examples:

  1. HCl (g)+ NH 3(g) NH 4++ Cl - HCl (g)+ NH 3(g) NH 4++ Cl - In order to decide which substance is a proton donor and which is a proton acceptor, we need to look at what happens to each reactant. The reaction can be broken down as follows: HCl Cl -+H+ HCl Cl -+H+ and NH 3+H+ NH 4+ NH 3+H+ NH 4+ From these reactions, it is clear that HCl is a proton donor and is therefore an acid, and that NH33 is a proton acceptor and is therefore a base.
  2. CH 3 COOH +H2OH3O++ CH 3 COO - CH 3 COOH +H2OH3O++ CH 3 COO - The reaction can be broken down as follows: CH 3 COOH CH 3 COO -+H+ CH 3 COOH CH 3 COO -+H+ and H2O+H+H3O+H2O+H+H3O+ In this reaction, CH33COOH (acetic acid) is a proton donor and is therefore the acid. In this case, water acts as a base because it accepts a proton to form H33O++.
  3. NH 3+H2O NH 4++ OH - NH 3+H2O NH 4++ OH - The reaction can be broken down as follows: H2O OH -+H+H2O OH -+H+ and NH 3+H+ NH 4+ NH 3+H+ NH 4+ In this reaction, water donates a proton and is therefore an acid in this reaction. Ammonia accepts the proton and is therefore the base. Notice that in the previous equation, water acted as a base and that in this equation it acts as an acid. Water can act as both an acid and a base depending on the reaction. This is also true of other substances. These substances are called ampholytes and are said to be amphoteric.
Definition 2: Amphoteric

An amphoteric substance is one that can react as either an acid or base. Examples of amphoteric substances include water, zinc oxide and beryllium hydroxide.

Conjugate acid-base pairs

Look at the reaction between hydrochloric acid and ammonia to form ammonium and chloride ions:

HCl + NH 3 NH 4 + + Cl - HCl + NH 3 NH 4 + + Cl -

Looking firstly at the forward reaction (i.e. the reaction that proceeds from left to right), the changes that take place can be shown as follows:

HCl Cl -+H+ HCl Cl -+H+ and

NH 3 + H + NH 4 + NH 3 + H + NH 4 +

Looking at the reverse reaction (i.e. the reaction that proceeds from right to left), the changes that take place are as follows:

NH 4+ NH 3+H+ NH 4+ NH 3+H+ and

Cl - + H + HCl Cl - + H + HCl

In the forward reaction, HCl is a proton donor (acid) and NH33 is a proton acceptor (base). In the reverse reaction, the chloride ion is the proton acceptor (base) and NH4+4+ is the proton donor (acid). A conjugate acid-base pair is two compounds in a reaction that change into each other through the loss or gain of a proton. The conjugate acid-base pairs for the above reaction are shown below.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (CG11C8_001.png)

The reaction between ammonia and water can also be used as an example:

Figure 2
Figure 2 (CG11C8_002.png)

Definition 3: Conjugate acid-base pair

The term refers to two compounds that transform into each other by the gain or loss of a proton.

Figure 3
Khan academy video on acids and bases

Acids and bases

  1. In the following reactions, identify (1) the acid and the base in the reactants and (2) the salt in the product.
    1. H2 SO 4+ Ca ( OH )2 CaSO 4+2H2OH2 SO 4+ Ca ( OH )2 CaSO 4+2H2O
    2. CuO +H2 SO 4 CuSO 4+H2O CuO +H2 SO 4 CuSO 4+H2O
    3. H2O+C6H5 OH H3O++C6H5O-H2O+C6H5 OH H3O++C6H5O-
    4. HBr +C5H5N(C5H5 NH +) Br - HBr +C5H5N(C5H5 NH +) Br -
  2. In each of the following reactions, label the conjugate acid-base pairs.
    1. H2 SO 4+H2OH3O++ HSO 4-H2 SO 4+H2OH3O++ HSO 4-
    2. NH 4++F- HF + NH 3 NH 4++F- HF + NH 3
    3. H2O+ CH 3 COO - CH 3 COOH + OH -H2O+ CH 3 COO - CH 3 COOH + OH -
    4. H2 SO 4+ Cl - HCl + HSO 4-H2 SO 4+ Cl - HCl + HSO 4-

Acid-base reactions

When an acid and a base react, they neutralise each other to form a salt. If the base contains hydroxide (OH--) ions, then water will also be formed. The word salt is a general term which applies to the products of all acid-base reactions. A salt is a product that is made up of the cation from a base and the anion from an acid. When an acid reacts with a base, they neutralise each other. In other words, the acid becomes less acidic and the base becomes less basic. Look at the following examples:

  1. Hydrochloric acid reacts with sodium hydroxide to form sodium chloride (the salt) and water. Sodium chloride is made up of Na++ cations from the base (NaOH) and Cl-- anions from the acid (HCl). HCl + NaOH H2O+ NaCl HCl + NaOH H2O+ NaCl
  2. Hydrogen bromide reacts with potassium hydroxide to form potassium bromide (the salt) and water. Potassium bromide is made up of K++ cations from the base (KOH) and Br-- anions from the acid (HBr). HBr + KOH H2O+ KBr HBr + KOH H2O+ KBr
  3. Hydrochloric acid reacts with sodium hydrocarbonate to form sodium chloride (the salt) and hydrogen carbonate. Sodium chloride is made up of Na++ cations from the base (NaHCO33) and Cl-- anions from the acid (HCl). HCl + NaHCO 3H2 CO 3+ NaCl HCl + NaHCO 3H2 CO 3+ NaCl

You should notice that in the first two examples, the base contained OH-- ions, and therefore the products were a salt and water. NaCl (table salt) and KBr are both salts. In the third example, NaHCO33 also acts as a base, despite not having OH-- ions. A salt is still formed as one of the products, but no water is produced.

It is important to realise how important these neutralisation reactions are. Below are some examples:

  • Domestic uses Calcium oxide (CaO) is put on soil that is too acid. Powdered limestone (CaCO33) can also be used but its action is much slower and less effective. These substances can also be used on a larger scale in farming and also in rivers.
  • Biological uses Acids in the stomach (e.g. hydrochloric acid) play an important role in helping to digest food. However, when a person has a stomach ulcer, or when there is too much acid in the stomach, these acids can cause a lot of pain. Antacids are taken to neutralise the acids so that they don't burn as much. Antacids are bases which neutralise the acid. Examples of antacids are aluminium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide ('milk of magnesia') and sodium bicarbonate ('bicarbonate of soda'). Antacids can also be used to relieve heartburn.
  • Industrial uses Alkaline calcium hydroxide (limewater) can be used to absorb harmful SO22 gas that is released from power stations and from the burning of fossil fuels.

Note: Interesting Fact :

Bee stings are acidic and have a pH between 5 and 5.5. They can be soothed by using substances such as calomine lotion, which is a mild alkali based on zinc oxide. Bicarbonate of soda can also be used. Both alkalis help to neutralise the acidic bee sting and relieve some of the itchiness!

Tip:

Acid-base titrations

The neutralisation reaction between an acid and a base can be very useful. If an acidic solution of known concentration (a standard solution) is added to an alkaline solution until the solution is exactly neutralised (i.e. it has neither acidic nor basic properties), it is possible to calculate the exact concentration of the unknown solution. It is possible to do this because, at the exact point where the solution is neutralised, chemically equivalent amounts of acid and base have reacted with each other. This type of calculation is called volumetric analysis. The process where an acid solution and a basic solution are added to each other for this purpose, is called a titration, and the point of neutralisation is called the end point of the reaction. So how exactly can a titration be carried out to determine an unknown concentration? Look at the following steps to help you to understand the process.

Step 1:

A measured volume of the solution with unknown concentration is put into a flask.

Step 2:

A suitable indicator is added to this solution (bromothymol blue and phenolpthalein are common indicators).

Step 3:

A volume of the standard solution is put into a burette (a measuring device) and is slowly added to the solution in the flask, drop by drop.

Step 4:

At some point, adding one more drop will change the colour of the unknown solution. For example, if the solution is basic and bromothymol blue is being used as the indicator in the titration, the bromothymol blue would originally have coloured the solution blue. At the end point of the reaction, adding one more drop of acid will change the colour of the basic solution from blue to yellow. Yellow shows that the solution is now acidic.

Step 5:

Record the volume of standard solution that has been added up to this point.

Step 6:

Use the information you have gathered to calculate the exact concentration of the unknown solution. A worked example is shown below.

Tip:

When you are busy with these calculations, you will need to remember the following:

1dm33 = 1 litre = 1000ml = 1000cm33, therefore dividing cm33 by 1000 will give you an answer in dm33.

Some other terms and equations which will be useful to remember are shown below:

  • Molarity is a term used to describe the concentration of a solution, and is measured in mol.dm-3-3. The symbol for molarity is M. Refer to chapter (Reference) for more information on molarity.
  • Moles = molarity (mol.dm-3-3) x volume (dm33)
  • Molarity (mol.dm-3-3) = molesvolumemolesvolume

Exercise 1: Titration calculation

Given the equation:

NaOH + HCl NaCl + H 2 O NaOH + HCl NaCl + H 2 O

25cm33 of a sodium hydroxide solution was pipetted into a conical flask and titrated with 0.2M hydrochloric acid. Using a suitable indicator, it was found that 15cm33 of acid was needed to neutralise the alkali. Calculate the molarity of the sodium hydroxide.

Solution
  1. Step 1. Write down all the information you know about the reaction, and make sure that the equation is balanced. :

    NaOH: V = 25 cm33

    HCl: V = 15 cm33; C = 0.2 M

    The equation is already balanced.

  2. Step 2. Calculate the number of moles of HCl that react according to this equation. :
    M = n V M = n V
    (1)

    Therefore, n(HCl) = M ×× V (make sure that all the units are correct!)

    M = 0.2mol.dm-3-3

    V = 15cm33 = 0.015dm33

    Therefore

    n ( H C l ) = 0 . 2 × 0 . 015 = 0 . 003 n ( H C l ) = 0 . 2 × 0 . 015 = 0 . 003
    (2)

    There are 0.003 moles of HCl that react

  3. Step 3. Calculate the number of moles of sodium hydroxide in the reaction :

    Look at the equation for the reaction. For every mole of HCl there is one mole of NaOH that is involved in the reaction. Therefore, if 0.003 moles of HCl react, we can conclude that the same quantity of NaOH is needed for the reaction. The number of moles of NaOH in the reaction is 0.003.

  4. Step 4. Calculate the molarity of the sodium hydroxide :

    First convert the volume into dm33. V = 0.025 dm33. Then continue with the calculation.

    M = n V = 0 . 003 0 . 025 = 0 . 12 M = n V = 0 . 003 0 . 025 = 0 . 12
    (3)

    The molarity of the NaOH solution is 0.12 mol.dm33 or 0.12 M

Exercise 2: Titration calculation

4.9 g of sulfuric acid is dissolved in water and the final solution has a volume of 220 cm33. Using titration, it was found that 20 cm33 of this solution was able to completely neutralise 10 cm33 of a sodium hydroxide solution. Calculate the concentration of the sodium hydroxide in mol.dm-3-3.

Solution
  1. Step 1. Write a balanced equation for the titration reaction. :

    H 2 SO 4 + 2 NaOH Na 2 SO 4 + 2 H 2 O H 2 SO 4 + 2 NaOH Na 2 SO 4 + 2 H 2 O

  2. Step 2. Calculate the molarity of the sulfuric acid solution. :

    M = n/V

    V = 220 cm33 = 0.22 dm33

    n = m M = 4 . 9 g 98 g . m o l - 1 = 0 . 05 m o l s n = m M = 4 . 9 g 98 g . m o l - 1 = 0 . 05 m o l s
    (4)

    Therefore,

    M = 0 . 05 0 . 22 = 0 . 23 m o l . d m - 3 M = 0 . 05 0 . 22 = 0 . 23 m o l . d m - 3
    (5)
  3. Step 3. Calculate the moles of sulfuric acid that were used in the neutralisation reaction. :

    Remember that only 20 cm33 of the sulfuric acid solution is used.

    M = n/V, therefore n = M ×× V

    n = 0 . 23 × 0 . 02 = 0 . 0046 m o l n = 0 . 23 × 0 . 02 = 0 . 0046 m o l
    (6)
  4. Step 4. Calculate the number of moles of sodium hydroxide that were neutralised. :

    According to the balanced chemical equation, the mole ratio of H22SO44 to NaOH is 1:2. Therefore, the number of moles of NaOH that are neutralised is 0.0046 ×× 2 = 0.0092 mols.

  5. Step 5. Calculate the concentration of the sodium hydroxide solution. :
    M = n V = 0 . 0092 0 . 01 = 0 . 92 M M = n V = 0 . 0092 0 . 01 = 0 . 92 M
    (7)

Acid-carbonate reactions

Demonstration : The reaction of acids with carbonates

Apparatus and materials:

Small amounts of sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate (both in powder form); hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid; retort stand; two test tubes; two rubber stoppers for the test tubes; a delivery tube; lime water. The demonstration should be set up as shown below.

Figure 4
Figure 4 (CG11C8_003.png)

Method:

  1. Pour limewater into one of the test tubes and seal with a rubber stopper.
  2. Carefully pour a small amount of hydrochloric acid into the remaining test tube.
  3. Add a small amount of sodium carbonate to the acid and seal the test tube with the rubber stopper.
  4. Connect the two test tubes with a delivery tube.
  5. Observe what happens to the colour of the limewater.
  6. Repeat the above steps, this time using sulfuric acid and calcium carbonate.

Observations:

The clear lime water turns milky meaning that carbon dioxide has been produced.

When an acid reacts with a carbonate a salt, carbon dioxide and water are formed. Look at the following examples:

  • Nitric acid reacts with sodium carbonate to form sodium nitrate, carbon dioxide and water. 2 HNO 3+ Na 2 CO 32 NaNO 3+ CO 2+H2O2 HNO 3+ Na 2 CO 32 NaNO 3+ CO 2+H2O
  • Sulfuric acid reacts with calcium carbonate to form calcium sulfate, carbon dioxide and water. H2 SO 4+ CaCO 3 CaSO 4+ CO 2+H2OH2 SO 4+ CaCO 3 CaSO 4+ CO 2+H2O
  • Hydrochloric acid reacts with calcium carbonate to form calcium chloride, carbon dioxide and water. 2 HCl + CaCO 3 CaCl 2+ CO 2+H2O2 HCl + CaCO 3 CaCl 2+ CO 2+H2O

Figure 5

Acids and bases

  1. The compound NaHCO33 is commonly known as baking soda. A recipe requires 1.6 g of baking soda, mixed with other ingredients, to bake a cake.
    1. Calculate the number of moles of NaHCO33 used to bake the cake.
    2. How many atoms of oxygen are there in the 1.6 g of baking soda? During the baking process, baking soda reacts with an acid to produce carbon dioxide and water, as shown by the reaction equation below: HCO 3-( aq )+H+( aq ) CO 2(g)+H2O(l) HCO 3-( aq )+H+( aq ) CO 2(g)+H2O(l)
    3. Identify the reactant which acts as the Bronsted-Lowry base in this reaction. Give a reason for your answer.
    4. Use the above equation to explain why the cake rises during this baking process.
    (DoE Grade 11 Paper 2, 2007)
  2. Label the acid-base conjugate pairs in the following equation: HCO 3-+H2O CO 32-+H3O+ HCO 3-+H2O CO 32-+H3O+
  3. A certain antacid tablet contains 22.0 g of baking soda (NaHCO33). It is used to neutralise the excess hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The balanced equation for the reaction is: NaHCO 3+ HCl NaCl +H2O+ CO 2 NaHCO 3+ HCl NaCl +H2O+ CO 2 The hydrochloric acid in the stomach has a concentration of 1.0 mol.dm-3-3. Calculate the volume of the hydrochloric acid that can be neutralised by the antacid tablet. (DoE Grade 11 Paper 2, 2007)
  4. A learner is asked to prepare a standard solution of the weak acid, oxalic acid (COOH)222H22O for use in a titration. The volume of the solution must be 500 cm33 and the concentration 0.2 mol.dm-3-3.
    1. Calculate the mass of oxalic acid which the learner has to dissolve to make up the required standard solution. The leaner titrates this 0.2 mol.dm-3-3 oxalic acid solution against a solution of sodium hydroxide. He finds that 40 cm33 of the oxalic acid solution exactly neutralises 35 cm33 of the sodium hydroxide solution.
    2. Calculate the concentration of the sodium hydroxide solution.
  5. A learner finds some sulfuric acid solution in a bottle labelled 'dilute sulfuric acid'. He wants to determine the concentration of the sulphuric acid solution. To do this, he decides to titrate the sulfuric acid against a standard potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution.
    1. What is a standard solution?
    2. Calculate the mass of KOH which he must use to make 300 cm33 of a 0.2 mol.dm-3-3 KOH solution.
    3. Calculate the pH of the 0.2 mol.dm-3-3 KOH solution (assume standard temperature).
    4. Write a balanced chemical equation for the reaction between H22SO44 and KOH.
    5. During the titration he finds that 15 cm33 of the KOH solution neutralises 20 cm33 of the H22SO44 solution. Calculate the concentration of the H22SO44 solution.
    (IEB Paper 2, 2003)

Collection Navigation

Content actions

Download:

Collection as:

EPUB (?)

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is an electronic book format that can be read on a variety of mobile devices.

Downloading to a reading device

For detailed instructions on how to download this content's EPUB to your specific device, click the "(?)" link.

| More downloads ...

Module as:

PDF | More downloads ...

Add:

Collection to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks

Module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

| A lens I own (?)

Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

| External bookmarks