Can you mix an acid and a base, if you can then what is the result?

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mvcdc's profile pic

mvcdc | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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A reaction between a strong acid and a strong base results to the formation of salt and water. This is typically referred to as an acid-base or neutralization reaction (so-called since the products, salt and water, have a neutral pH of 7). An example of a strong base is sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and a strong acid, hydrochloric acid (HCl). The reaction between these two species produces sodium chloride (NaCl), a salt, and water: NaOH + HCl -> NaCl + H2O. Note that the strength of the acid or base is not related to the pH; the pH simply indicates the concentration of hydronium ions on solution. The strength of the acid/base, refers to the degree of dissociation when placed in a solution -- e.g. in water, both HCl and NaOH dissociate completely to H+, Cl-, Na+, OH-.


On the other hand, if a strong acid is reacted with a weak base, the resulting solution will have a low pH, and hence is also acidic. Meanwhile, a strong base reacts with a weak acid to form a basic solution. In the case that both reacting species are weak, the acidity/alkalinity of the resulting solution depends on the relative strengths of the reactants as an acid (or bases).  

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jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Generally, the reaction of acid and bases produces salt. Acid and bases neutralizes each other in order to form salt. The general acid-base reaction was derived from the Arrhenius definition where in a reaction of an acid and a base will form a water molecule from a proton and hydroxide ion. This is a neutralization reaction which has been put into a word equation:

`Acid + Base -> Sal t + Water`

Let me show you some classic examples:

`HCl + NaOH -> NaCl + H_2O `

`NaCl -> sal t`


`H_2SO_4 + 2 KOH -> K_2SO_4 + 2 H_2O`

`K_2SO_4 -> sal t`


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