Q:

What are neutral substances?

A:

Neutral substances are chemicals that have no properties of either acids or bases, have equal parts hydrogen and hydronium ions and don't change the color of litmus paper or other acid-base indicators. Neutral substances include water, glucose solutions and salt solutions. These chemicals have a pH of 7.0 on a scale of 14. In terms of toxicity, neutral substances are generally harmless to the touch.

Pure water has no ions in it whatsoever and serves as the main solvent in which acids and bases are dissolved. A sugar solution is made of molecules of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms bound together in a crystalline pattern. A salt solution in pure water has dissolved sodium and chlorine ions.

Acids and bases have higher concentrations of either hydrogen ions with a plus charge or hydronium ions with a plus charge. Hydronium molecules consist of three atoms of hydrogen bound to one atom of oxygen. Acids have more hydrogen ions, and bases have more hydronium ions. Neutral substances have neither ion, or an equal number of both ions, to cancel out any acid or base properties.

While a neutral solution has a pH of 7.0, strong acids have pH numbers closer to zero and strong bases have pH measurements close to 14.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a neutral pH level?

    A:

    A neutral pH level is a value of seven on the pH scale. This number lies at the center of the scale and is the value that is associated with pure water. A pH level below or above seven indicates that the liquid is either an acid or a base.

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  • Q:

    What are examples of neutral substances?

    A:

    Water, sugar and table salt are common examples of neutral substances. The pH scale rates substances based on how acidic or basic they are. A substance that is not acidic or basic is described as a neutral substance.

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  • Q:

    What is the pH of distilled water?

    A:

    Pure distilled water has a pH of 7. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with pH levels less than 7 considered acids and pH levels over 7 considered bases. A pH level of 7 is neutral.

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  • Q:

    What do all acids have in common?

    A:

    All acids release positively charged hydrogen atoms in water. This distinguishes them from bases, which release negatively charged hydroxide ions in water. Most, but not all, acids have a number of similar properties, including taking the form of a fluid, having a sour taste and feeling sticky to the touch. Additionally, most acids produce hydrogen gas when they react with a metal.

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