Acid Base Reactions Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Acid Base Reactions?
Acid-base reactions are essential in chemical and biological systems, playing an important role in numerous processes such as metabolism, digestion, respiration and energy production. An acid is a substance that releases hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water. A base is a substance that accepts hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. When an acid and a base react with each other, they neutralize the free H+ and OH ions to form water molecules (H2O).Acids have sour tastes while bases have bitter tastes. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic something is; the lower the number on this scale, the more acidic it is. For example, lemon juice has a pH of 2 while baking soda has a pH of 8-9. Solutions with neutral pH (7) contain equal amounts of hydronium and hydroxide ions.The strength of an acid or base can be determined by its dissociation constant (Ka for acids or Kb for bases). This constant indicates how much an acid will release H+ into solution at a given temperature and pressure; stronger acids will release more H+. Acid-base reactions are commonly used in industrial processes such as manufacturing fertilizers or drugs, tanning leather hides, treating sewage waste, bleaching textiles, preserving food products and generating electricity from fuel cells. In addition to these uses outside of biology, acid-base reactions also play important roles inside living organisms: enzymes use them to drive metabolic pathways; cells use them to communicate information between themselves; microbes use them to survive extreme environments; plants use them to absorb nutrients from soil; mammals use them to regulate their body’s internal environment such as blood pH levels during exercise or stress. To summarise: acid-base reactions are essential both inside and outside living organisms for countless processes from manufacturing chemicals to regulating our bodies’ internal environment.