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Acids and Bases: A Comprehensive Guide for Leaving Cert Students

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

In this blog, we will be discussing the concept of acids and bases, which is an important topic in Chemistry for Irish Leaving Cert students. Whether you are preparing for your exams or just want to gain a deeper understanding of this subject, this guide is designed to provide you with all the information you need to know about acids and bases.

What are Acids and Bases?

Acids and bases are two of the most basic types of chemicals that exist in nature. They are defined by their ability to donate or accept hydrogen ions (H+) when they dissolve in water. Acids have a sour taste and can corrode metal, while bases have a bitter taste and feel slippery to the touch.

Properties of Acids

  • Acids are substances that release hydrogen ions (H+) when they dissolve in water

  • They have a sour taste and can corrode metal

  • They change the color of certain types of dyes (for example, litmus paper)

  • Acids have a pH value of less than 7

Properties of Bases

  • Bases are substances that release hydroxide ions (OH-) when they dissolve in water

  • They have a bitter taste and feel slippery to the touch

  • They neutralize acids

  • Bases have a pH value of greater than 7

The pH Scale

To measure the acidity or basicity of a solution, the pH scale is used. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. Neutral substances have a pH of 7.

Applications of Acids and Bases

Acids and bases play a crucial role in many areas of our lives, including medicine, food and drink production, cleaning products, and industrial processes. For example, stomach acid helps us to digest food, and baking soda is a common ingredient in baking that acts as a base.

In conclusion, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of acids and bases, including their properties, the pH scale, and their applications. Whether you are a student or simply interested in Chemistry, we hope that you have found this guide helpful in understanding the concept of acids and bases.

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