chemistry FAQ's

What Is an Acid?

Put simply, an acid is any substance that has pH of less than 7. The pH scale is used to measure how acid or alkali a substance is:

  • 0-3 = strong acid (UI turns red)
  • 4-6 = weak acid (UI turns orange/yellow)
  • 7 = neutral (UI turns green)
  • 8-10 = weak alkali (UI turns blue)
  • 11-14 = strong alkali (UI turns purple)

The pH of an acid is determined by the concentration of Hydrogen ions (H+) the substance has when in solution. All acids contain hydrogen ions when in solution; the higher the concentration of H+ ions, the lower the pH.

Fast Fact: Bee stings are acidic. They can be neutralised using baking powder which contains sodium hydrogen carbonate – a base.

Common Acids

Hydrochloric AcidHCl
Sulphuric AcidH2SO4
Nitric AcidHNO3
Phosphoric AcidH3PO4
Ethanoic Acid (Vinegar)CH3COOH

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