Topic: Acids & Neutralisation

2:29 understand how to use the pH scale, from 0–14, can be used to classify solutions as strongly acidic (0–3), weakly acidic (4–6), neutral (7), weakly alkaline (8–10) and strongly alkaline (11–14)

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, and tells you how acidic or how alkaline a solution is.

 strongly acidicweakly acidicneutralweakly alkalinestrongly alkaline
pH0-34-678-1011-14

2:33 (Triple only) describe how to carry out an acid-alkali titration

Titration is used to find out precisely how much acid neutralises a certain volume of alkali (or vice versa).

The diagram shows the titration method for a neutralisation reaction between hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide, using phenolphthalein as an indicator. The indicator changes colour when neutralisation occurs.

The conical flask is swirled to mix the solutions each time alkali is added. When reading the burette it is important to be aware that the numbers on the scale increase from top to bottom. Readings are usually recorded to the nearest 0.05cm³ so all readings should be written down with 2 decimal places. The second decimal place is given as a ‘0’ if the level of the solution is on a line, or ‘5’ if it is between the lines. The volume of alkali added is calculated by subtracting the final reading from the initial reading. Various indicators can be used such as phenolphthalein or methyl orange. However universal indicator should not be used since it has a wide range of colours rather than one specific colour change so it would be unclear when the precise endpoint of titration was achieved.

This process is repeated a number of times. The first time it is done roughly to get a good approximation of how much alkali needs to be added. On subsequent attempts, the alkali is added very slowly when approaching the correct volume.

2:35 understand acids and bases in terms of proton transfer

An acid is a proton (H⁺) donor.

A base is a proton (H⁺) acceptor.

 

A proton is the same as a hydrogen ion. A good way to think about that is to realise that a hydrogen atom is just one proton and zero neutrons surrounded by only one electron. If that atom becomes an ion by the removal of the electron, then only one proton is left.

 

When sulfuric acid reacts with copper (II) oxide (CuO):

Cu²⁺O²⁻ (s)         +         H₂SO₄ (aq)         →         Cu²⁺ (aq)         +         SO₄²⁻ (aq)         +         H₂O (l)

H₂SO₄ is an acid. It donates protons (H⁺) to CuO, the base.

2:36 understand that an acid is a proton donor and a base is a proton acceptor

An acid is a proton donor.

A base is a proton acceptor.

 

A proton is the same as a hydrogen ion. A good way to think about that is to realise that a hydrogen atom is just one proton and zero neutrons surrounded by only one electron. If that atom becomes an ion by the removal of the electron, then only one proton is left.

2:37 describe the reactions of hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nitric acid with metals, bases and metal carbonates (excluding the reactions between nitric acid and metals) to form salts

Acid reactions summary

         alkali      +      acid      →      water      +      salt

         base      +      acid      →      water      +      salt

         carbonate      +      acid      →      water      +      salt      +      carbon dioxide

         metal   +   acid   →   salt   +   hydrogen

To assist remembering this list, many pupils find it useful to remember this horrid looking but very effective mnemonic:

         AAWS

         BAWS

         CAWS CoD

         MASH

Acids are a source of hydrogen ions (H⁺) when in solution. When the hydrogen in an acid is replaced by a metal, the compound is called a salt. The name of the salt depends on the acid used. For example if sulfuric acid is used then a sulfate salt will be formed.

Parent acidFormulaSaltFormula ion
sulfuric acidH2SO4sulfateSO42-
hydrochloric acidHClchlorideCl-
nitric acidHNO3nitrateNO3-

 

Acid + Alkali   and   Acid + Base

A base is a substance that can neutralise an acid, forming a salt and water only.

Alkalis are soluble bases. When they react with acids, a salt and water is formed. The salt formed is often as a colourless solution. Alkalis are a source of hydroxide ions (OH⁻) when in solution.

         alkali      +      acid      →      water      +      salt

         base      +      acid      →      water      +      salt

Examples of acid + alkali reactions:

  •          sodium hydroxide   +   hydrochloric acid   →   sodium chloride   +   water
  •          NaOH (aq)         +         HCl (aq)         →         NaCl (aq)         +         H₂O (l)
  •          potassium hydroxide   +   sulfuric acid   →   potassium sulfate   +   water
  •          2KOH (aq)         +         H₂SO₄ (aq)         →         K₂SO₄ (aq)         +         2H₂O (l)

Example of an acid + base reaction:

         CuO (s)         +         H₂SO₄ (aq)         →         CuSO₄ (aq)         +         H₂O (l)

 

Acid + Carbonate

         carbonate      +      acid      →      water      +      salt      +      carbon dioxide

A carbonate is a compound made up of metal ions and carbonate ions. Examples of metal carbonates are sodium carbonate, copper carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

When carbonates react with acids, bubbling is observed which is the carbon dioxide being produced. If the acid is in excess the carbonate will disappear.

Examples of acid + carbonate reactions:

  •          calcium carbonate   +   hydrochloric acid   →   calcium chloride   +   water   +   carbon dioxide
  •          CaCO₃ (s)         +         2HCl (aq)         →         CaCl₂ (aq)         +         H₂O (l)         +         CO₂ (g)
  •          potassium carbonate   +   hydrochloric acid   →   potassium chloride   +   water   +   carbon dioxide
  •          K₂CO₃ (aq)         +         2HCl (aq)         →         2KCl (aq)         +         H₂O (l)         +         CO₂ (g)

 

Acid + Metal

         metal   +   acid   →   salt   +   hydrogen

Metals will react with an acid if the metal is above hydrogen in the reactivity series.

When metals react with acids, bubbling is observed which is the hydrogen being produced. If the acid is in excess the metal will disappear.

Examples of acid + metal reactions:

  •          magnesium   +   sulfuric acid   →   magnesium sulfate   +   hydrogen
  •          Mg (s)         +         H₂SO₄ (aq)         →         MgSO₄ (aq)         +         H₂ (g)
  •          aluminium   +   hydrochloric acid   →   aluminium chloride   +   hydrogen
  •          2Al (s)         +         6HCl (aq)         →         2AlCl₃ (aq)         +         3H₂ (g)
  •          copper   +   hydrochloric acid   →   no reaction (since copper is below hydrogen in the reactivity series)

2:38 know that metal oxides, metal hydroxides and ammonia can act as bases, and that alkalis are bases that are soluble in water

A base is a substance that neutralises an acid by combining with the hydrogen ions in them to produce water.

A base usually means a metal oxide, a metal hydroxide or ammonia.

Alkalis are bases which are soluble in water.

 

Some metal oxides are soluble in water and react with it to form solutions of metal hydroxides. For example:

Na₂O (s)         +         H₂O (l)         →         2NaOH (aq)

Apart from this and other group 1 oxides (such as potassium oxide) most other metal oxides are not soluble in water.

One exception is calcium oxide which does dissolve slightly in water to form calcium hydroxide (known as limewater):

CaO (s)         +         H₂O (l)         →         Ca(OH)₂ (aq)

 

Ammonia is another base. Ammonia reacts with water to form ammonium ions and hydroxide ions:

NH₃ (aq)         +         H₂O (l)         ⇋         NH₄⁺ (aq)         +         OH⁻ (aq)

 

All the solutions produced here contain hydroxide ions (OH⁻) so they are all alkalis.

 

 

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Section 1: Principles of chemistry

      a) States of matter

      b) Atoms

      c) Atomic structure

     d) Relative formula masses and molar volumes of gases

     e) Chemical formulae and chemical equations

     f) Ionic compounds

     g) Covalent substances

     h) Metallic crystals

     i) Electrolysis

 Section 2: Chemistry of the elements

     a) The Periodic Table

     b) Group 1 elements: lithium, sodium and potassium

     c) Group 7 elements: chlorine, bromine and iodine

     d) Oxygen and oxides

     e) Hydrogen and water

     f) Reactivity series

     g) Tests for ions and gases

Section 3: Organic chemistry

     a) Introduction

     b) Alkanes

     c) Alkenes

     d) Ethanol

Section 4: Physical chemistry

     a) Acids, alkalis and salts

     b) Energetics

     c) Rates of reaction

     d) Equilibria

Section 5: Chemistry in industry

     a) Extraction and uses of metals

     b) Crude oil

     c) Synthetic polymers

     d) The industrial manufacture of chemicals