Q:

What are the differences between a base and an alkali?

A:

Alkali compounds are a type of base that dissolves in water; many types of bases do not dissolve in water, and so they are not alkali. Any type of base reacts with acid and neutralizes it. Most alkali compounds contain a hydroxyl group, which is a negative ion containing bonded oxygen and hydrogen.

Bases and alkali substances are very common in both the natural environment and in daily use. Most toothpastes contain mild alkali substances, and baking soda is another alkali substance commonly encountered. Ammonia is an exception to the common pattern for alkali substances, as it is a water-soluble base without a hydroxyl group. Copper oxide is a relatively common base that is not water soluble, and thus it is not an alkali.

Any basic substance has a power of hydrogen, or pH, above 7.0, the pH of pure water. Acidic substances have a pH of below 7.0. Basic substances are basic because they are capable of accepting hydrogen ions, and hydrogen ions are what give acids their caustic properties. In the case of many alkali substances, the hydrogen ions bond with hydroxyl ions to create water. The non-hydroxyl portions of the bases often form salts with the remnants of the acids. In the case of ammonia, the hydrogen ion is accepted to form ammonium.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is a monoacidic base?

    A:

    According to Dictionary.com, a monoacidic base is a base that when dissolved in water produces one hydroxide ion or OH-, per molecule. In other words, a monoacidic base divides itself into two main components or molecules after reacting with water. One of the molecules is always a hydroxide ion and based on the definition of a monoacidic base, only one hydroxide ion is present.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are examples of an acid-base indicator?

    A:

    Some common examples of acid-base indicators include blue grapes, which can change color from deep red in an acid to violet in a base; beets, which change from red to purplish when in a very basic substance; and blueberries, which turn red in strong acids. While these are common examples, many other things can be used as an acid-base indicator.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between an acid versus a base?

    A:

    An acid is a substance that donates a proton, and a base is a substance that accepts a proton. A base is a chemical compound that forms OH- ions when dissolved in water and reacts with acids to form salts. An acid is a chemical compound that forms H+ ions when dissolved in water and reacts with bases to form salts.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some of the properties of acids?

    A:

    Some of the properties of acids are that they conduct electricity when they are dissolved in water, liberate hydrogen when they react with active metals and, when combined with a base, will produce a salt and a neutralized base. Acids also have a pH which is less than 7 in an aqueous solution, and will change the color of blue litmus paper to red. In an operational sense, acids increase the concentration of H+ ions when they are dissolved in water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore