Chemistry: Acids and Bases

Acids and Bases

As you learned way back in Chemical Equations, acid-base reactions have equations with the general form HA + BOH ⇔ BA + H2O. So far, that's all I've really said about them. As you've probably guessed, there's a lot more to acids and bases than this equation.

The reason that acid-base reactions are so important is that many of the things you come into contact with on a daily basis are either acids or bases. Most fruits are acids, as are carbonated beverages, tea, and battery acid. Common household bases include baking soda, ammonia, soap, and antacids. As you'll find, acids and bases really aren't that difficult to understand once you get the hang of them.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry © 2003 by Ian Guch. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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