Q:

What are examples of alkaline substances?

A:

Lye, baking soda and ammonia are examples of common alkaline substances. The word alkaline describes a water-based solution with a pH above 7.0.

While common household lye usually refers to sodium hydroxide, the word originally referred to potash, a substance leached from hardwood ashes using water. Although lye is caustic and poisonous, manufacturers use it in the production of food, including pretzels, green olives, lutefisk and Chinese noodles. Because lye creates heat when dissolved in water and helps to dissolve grease, drain cleaner manufacturers often use it in their products. Lye is also used in manufacturing soap.

Baking soda is mildly alkaline. Bakers use it in breads and cakes mixed with an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to create carbon dioxide bubbles that cause their products to be lighter in texture. Baking powder contains baking soda and cream of tartar, a mild acid. When the two mix with liquids, they form the same gas bubbles.

Ammonia is a highly caustic alkaline substance. It has a strong and recognizable smell. Farmers apply ammonia to the soil to increase the available nitrogen. Ammonia is a powerful degreaser that requires proper ventilation when using indoors.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What are the chemical properties of potassium?

    A:

    Potassium readily loses the single electron in its outer valence, causing it to react very energetically to substances that strongly attract electrons. Potassium is a silver colored metal that tarnishes rapidly when exposed to air because of the oxygen and water vapor.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How to calculate the ionic strength of a solution?

    A:

    The ionic strength of a solution is a calculated using the concentration of dissolved substances in a solution along with the valence of the species in question. Ionic strength represents the relative interactions of ions with water molecules and other ions in a solution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of "alkaline earth metals"?

    A:

    The alkaline earth metals are a group of elements on the periodic table that contain two electrons in their outermost energy levels and exhibit similar characteristics such as high reactivity. This group of elements consists of beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some uses of caustic soda?

    A:

    Caustic soda, or sodium hydroxide, is used in the manufacture of plastic wrap, soap and paper and is the major ingredient in most oven cleaners and liquid drain cleaners. In chemical manufacturing, it is used in metal processing, oil refining and water treatment. Commercially, it is generally used as either a solid, or a 50-percent aqueous solution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore