Acid-Base Neutralization: Key Principles and Applications

Acid-Base Neutralization: Key Principles and Applications


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 28 Dec,2023

The chemical reaction known as “acid-base neutralization” produces salt and water when an acid and a base come into contact. Protons (H+ ions) are transferred from the acid to the base during this reaction. Acid-base neutralization has numerous applications due to its underlying chemical process.

Here are some important principles and applications of acid-base neutralization:

Principle One: Bronsted-Lowry Theory

  1. Acids donate protons (H⁺) while bases accept protons.
  2. In neutralization, an acid gives a proton to the base.

Principle Two: Ion Exchange

Cations from the base combine with anions from the acid to form a salt.

Principle Three: Formation of Water

Hydrogen ions (H⁺) come from the acid combining with hydroxide ions (OH⁻) that come from the base resulting in water.

Principle Four: Chemical Equations

Generalized neutralization equation is acid+base→water+saltacid+base→water+salt.

Examples: HCl+NaOH→H2O+NaCl,


Principle Five: pH Neutralization

  1. Acidic solutions have less than 7 pH while basic solutions have more than 7 pH.
  2. Therefore, after being neutralized, pH gets closer to seven giving us a neutral solution.

Principle Six: Exothermic Nature

For example, most of these reactions are exothermic hence they release energy by heat.

Applications of Acid-Base Neutralization:

Application Area One – Wastewater Treatment:

To meet environmental regulations by adjusting industrial wastewater acidity or alkalinity before discharge into water bodies or landfills.

Application Area Two – Antacid Medicines:

Use of bases in medications to counteract excess stomach acidity in humans suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD).

Application Area Three – Chemical Synthesis:

Regulating reaction pH during chemical synthesis for production of different chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Application Area Four – Food Industry:

The use of this method in food processing for instance to control the acidity of beverages, dairy products, and baked goods production.

Application Area Five – Battery Acid Neutralization

This is done in order to minimize environmental impact when disposing lead-acid batteries by neutralizing sulfuric acid.

Application Area Six – Education and Demonstrations

This includes using visual changes and heat release as demonstrations as well as educational purposes for neutralization reactions.

Application Area Seven – Soil Remediation

Neutralizing acidic or basic substances to detoxify contaminated soil and adjust back to a more neutral pH that is good for plants.

Application Area Eight – Tanning Industry:

Sequential use of acids and bases during tanning process helps maintain pH and counteract excess acid?

Application Area Nine: pH Control in Swimming Pools

Adding bases to pool water to counter acidity caused by rainwater alongside other contaminants.

Because acid-base neutralization involves fundamental chemical processes, it is applicable in different areas such as chemistry, medicine, environmental science, and industry. Moreover, this kind of pH control affects both the process and environment significantly.

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