Acids and bases are very important in a number of processes that occur in the body. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic. A pH above 7 is basic. They are essential for digestion and the growth of cells. They also have a role in the regulation of body fluids.
Acids are commonly defined as substances that taste sour. If you taste vinegar or orange juice, you will find that they are acidic. Sourness is one of the properties of acids.
Types of Acids
On the basis of occurence of acids there are two types of acids:
Natural Acids are the acids that occur in nature and are found in the form of H+ ions. They are divided into two types based on their solubility in water. They are strong acids and weak acids. Strong Acids are completely dissociated in water with the formation of H+ ions. Weak Acids are partially dissociated in water.
Fruits and vegetables have acidic nature, this is mostly due to the presence of citric acid in them. Citrus fruits are a good source of citric acid. It is helpful in removing the body wastes and excess calcium from the body. It is also helpful in neutralizing certain medications.
Mineral acid is acid that is made from a mineral. Mineral acids are stronger than the organic acid. The mineral acids can be used to make other acids. HCl is the chemical name for hydrochloric acid. HCl is a strong acid.
Hydrochloric acid is also called muriatic acid. It is a colourless acidic liquid. It is soluble in water. It is obtained by treating the hydrochloric salt with sulfuric acid. It is used to clean the glass and porcelain.Nitric acid is obtained by treating the potassium nitrate with sulphuric acid. It is used in making explosives, dyes, fertilizers, etc.
Bases are ionic compounds that react with water to produce OH ions (also known as hydroxyl ions). Bases are found in the middle of the pH scale, which measures how acidic or basic a substance is. pH of bases range from 8 to 14, with 7 being neutral.
Bases are found in everyday items such as bleach, drain cleaners, and soap. Bases are also used in some medicines and food products. Ammonium hydroxide is a liquid base used to make ammonia. Ammonium hydroxide is used to make liquid fertilizer and to sterilize medical equipment. Sodium hydroxide is a liquid base used to make sodium hypochlorite, which is used as a bleach. Sodium hydroxide is also used in drain cleaners and as a raw material for many other chemicals. Sodium bicarbonate is a white powder that is used in baking (also known as baking soda).
The word salt comes from the Latin word salsus meaning “salty”. Salt is a kind of chemical compound which is composed of one or more metallic elements and one non-metal element. The ions of the metallic elements are called cations and the ions of the non-metal elements are called anions. A salt is composed of positive and negative ions. The positive and negative ions are attracted to each other and form a solid. Salt can also refer to a mixture of a metal and non-metal. Salt is important in chemistry because it tends to dissolve in water and makes solutions. Salt has many uses in cooking, and it is also used to flavour food industry.