Chemistry Project: Acids And Bases & The P H Scale

1522 words - 6 pages

Acids and Bases are two groups of chemical compounds that generally have oppositecharacteristics. They have there own unique traits, acids taste sour, turn litmus red whilebases taste bitter and turn litmus blue. The term pH relates to measuring the acidity oralkalinity of a solution, such as vinegar, or even a damp substance like soul.The neutral pH is 7, which is essentially water, with lower numbers indicating acidity andhigher numbers indicating alkalinity. Hydronium ions (H3O+) are formed when watermolecules (H2O) bond with hydrogen ions (H+). Hydronium ions are positively chargedbecause of their extra hydrogen ion. Hydroxide ions (OH-) are produced when watermolecules (H2O) ionize to become hydronium ions (H3O+) and hydroxide ions (OH-).Substances with a high concentration of hydroxide ions are bases. Bases have a pH ratingof seven or higher. Solutions of ions conduct an electric current, similar in the way thatwire does. Ions can move about in a solution and carry a charge. If they can do carry thecharge they are electrolytes.The Bronsted-Lowry theory states that an acid is a proton donor and a base aproton acceptor. Although the acid must still contain hydrogen, the Bronsted-Lowrytheory does not require an aqueous medium. The Bronsted-Lowry definition of acids andbases also explains why a strong acid displaces a weak acid from its compounds andlikewise for strong and weak bases. In the Lewis theory of acid-base reactions, basesdonate pairs of electrons and acids accept pairs of electrons. A Lewis acid is anysubstance, such as the H+ ion, that can accept a pair of nonbonding electrons. Therefore, aLewis acid is an electron-pair acceptor. A Lewis base is any substance, such as the OH-ion, that can donate a pair of nonbonding electrons. A Lewis base is therefore anelectron-pair donor.Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist who helped lay the foundation ofmodern day chemistry. When he was a student, he studied the conductive properties ofelectrolytic solutions. In his doctoral thesis he made the theory of electrolyticdissociation. This theory implies that in electrolytic solutions, the dissolved chemicalcompounds in the solution are dissociated into ions, even when there is no currentflowing through the solution. Initially, his theory was thought to be wrong, and his thesiswas given the lowest possible passing grade. However, later on Arrhenius' theory ofelectrolytic dissociation became generally accepted, and eventually became one of theprinciples of modern chemistry.The pH scale measures the concentration of H+ and OH-. The pH scale wasdeveloped because the concentration of the solution can vary by many factors over time,and a pH scale was the easiest way to express the variation of the solution. The pH scaleranges from 0 to 14. The 0 end of the scale is where the concentration is acidic. After 7 theconcentration starts to become more basic as it increases. Most biological fluids are betweenpH 6 and pH 8, and there are a few exceptions to...

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