In Chemistry, we can’t deny the importance of acids and bases. Along with Chemistry, acids, and bases also play a vital role in other fields of life. Acids and bases are present everywhere around us. These are present in the soaps that we use during the shower. They are also present in the kitchen in the form of citric acid and vinegar. Lactic acid and citric acid are the most important examples of acids. On the other hand, bleach and ammonia are examples of bases. As acids and bases are present in all the places around us. That’s why it is difficult for us to know the difference between acids and bases.
Difference between Acids and Bases
Acids and bases are different from each other based on various factors. Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowery, and Lewis have also provided their concepts about acids and bases. By learning these concepts, we can also understand the difference between these two terms.
1. Difference between Acids and Bases based on Lewis Concept
Lewis has differentiated between acids and bases based on the acceptance and donation of the electron pairs. According to Lewis, if a specie can accept an electron pair, this specie is an acid. On the other hand, if a specie can donate an electron pair, it is known as a base.
2. Difference between Acids and Bases based on Arrhenius’s Concept
Arrhenius has also provided the concepts of acids and bases. He has provided this difference based on the Hydrogen ions and Hydroxyl ions. According to Arrhenius, if we mix a substance with water and it produces a Hydrogen ion, we call it the acid. On the other hand, if we mix a substance with water and it produces a Hydroxyl ion, we can call it the base.
3. Difference between Acids and Bases based on Bronsted-Lowery Concept
Bronsted-Lowery has also provided the concepts of acids and bases. He has provided the concepts of acids and bases based on the donation and acceptance of the protons. If a substance can donate a proton to another substance, it is an acid. On the other hand, if a substance can accept a proton from another substance, it is a base.
No doubt, acids and bases both have their strengths. Different factors become the cause of the strength of the acids and bases. The strength of an acid is due to the concentration of the hydrogen ions. On the other hand, the strength of the base is due to the concentration of the hydroxyl ions. You may also like to read about the difference between metals and non-metals.
5. Difference between the Physical Natures of Acids and Bases
We can also differentiate between acids and bases by analyzing their physical natures. If a substance is corrosive, it is an acid. On the other hand, if a substance has a slippery nature, it is a base.
By checking the taste of a substance, we can also tell whether it is an acid or a base. The sour taste of a substance shows that it is an acid. The bitter taste of a substance shows that it is a base.
There are different examples of acids and bases. Acetic acid and Sulphuric acid are the best examples of acids. Ammonia and Sodium Hydroxide are examples of the bases.
8. Test with Litmus
If we have a substance and we don’t know whether it is an acid or a base, we can also tell whether it is an acid or a base by testing it with litmus. If the substance turns the blue litmus paper into red during the test, it is an acid. On the other hand, if a substance turns red litmus paper into blue, it is a base.
9. Difference between Dissociations of Acids and Bases
We can easily dissolve both acids and bases in the water. When we dissolve an acid in the water, it releases a Hydrogen ion. On the other hand, if we dissolve a base in the water, it releases hydroxyl ions.
10. Dissociation constant
It is a fact that different substances have different dissociation constants. If we observe the dissociation constant of a strong acid, we will know that it is -2. On the other hand, if we analyze the dissociation constant of a base, we will know that it is 12.
11. pH Value
To check the acidic or basic nature of a substance, we can also check its pH value. As we know that the pH value of water is 7. In the case of acids and bases, we consider it as the neutral pH value. If the pH value of a substance is less than 7, it is an acid. On the other hand, if the pH value of a substance is greater than 7, it is a base. The strongest acid has a pH value of 1. The pH value of the strongest base is 14.
12. Test with Phenolphthalein
Phenolphthalein is a chemical compound that is used as an indicator for the titration of acids and bases. It means that we can also check the acidic or basic nature of a substance by using this chemical compound. If we mix this compound in acidic solutions, it turns colorless. On the other hand, if we mix this compound in the basic solutions, it turns pink.
13. Test with Methyl Orange
We can also use methyl orange for the acid-base titration. If we mix it in the acidic solutions, it will turn red. On the other hand, if we mix it in the basic solutions, it will turn orange.
14. Test with Universal Indicator
The universal indicator is a pH indicator. We make it by mixing the solutions of the various compounds. We can also use it for acid-base titration. If we mix a substance in the universal indicator, its color will be changed. The yellow and red colors of the universal indicator will show that it is an acidic solution. On the other hand, the blue and violet colors will indicate that it is a basic solution.
15. Reactions with the Metals
The acids will react with the metals to give hydrogen gas. On the other hand, the bases will not react with the metals.
16. Physical State
Acids can exist in all three forms of matter. It means that acids exist in the solid, gas and liquid states based on their temperatures. Almost all the bases are found in the solid state. Ammonia is also a base but it doesn’t exist in the solid form because it exists in the basic form.
17. The difference in uses of acids and bases
We use acids and bases for various purposes. We use acids for household cleaning, industrial purposes, batteries, and the chemical industry. There are also some uses for the bases. We use bases for the manufacturing of soap, toothpaste, manufacturing of bleaching powder, and cleaning grease stains.
FAQs about the difference between acids and bases
Q1. What will happen when we chemically react to an acid with a base?
When we react with an acid with a base, this process is known as neutralization. As a result of the neutralization, salt, and water are produced. For example, if we react Hydrochloric acid with Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, and water will be produced. Sodium Chloride is salt. The whole process is known as neutralization.
Q2. Why acids are also known as proton donors?
While discussing the difference between acids and bases, we have discussed that an acid is a substance that can donate a proton. On the other hand, a base is a substance that can accept a proton. That’s why we can say that an acid is a proton donor and a base is a proton acceptor.
Q3. Are strong acids and concentrated acids the same?
The water content in the acids decides their concentration level. Therefore, we can say that the concentration of an acid depends upon the water content in it. On the other hand, we measure the strength of acid based on its dissociation power. As we are using two different techniques to know the strong and concentrated acids, that’s why they may be different from each other.