Student Projects/Acids, bases and salts

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Everybody has heard about salt. Salt is used in our daily life in preparing food. Salt, in chemistry, is a substance produced by the reaction of an acid with a base. Salt consists of the positive ion (cation) of an acid and the negative ion (anion) of a base. the reaction between an acid and a base is called a neutralization reaction. Salt is a substance which is neutral whose aqueous solution does not affect litmus. According to Faraday, acids, bases and salts are termed as electrolytes. Liebig said that acids are compounds that contain hydrogen that can be replaced by metals. Sour taste is given by acid and bitter taste is given by base. In solution, H plus is given by acid whereas base gives hydroxyl ions in solution. Acid turns blue litmus red whereas base turns red litmus blue.

Characteristics of Acids, Bases and Salts

Acids, bases and salts are part of things we handle daily in our life. Acids give sour taste to fruits, while bases like ammonia are found in many types cleaners. Salts are products of the reaction between an acid and a base. A common method used to determine an acid or a base is litmus test, but there are other characteristics that can help us to identify acids, bases and salts.


Acids are sour in taste. Citric acid gives sour taste to lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits while acetic acid gives vinegar its sour taste. Acids turn litmus paper into red. Litmus is a vegetable dye that turns red to indicate an acid and blue to indicate a base. Acids also contain combined hydrogen.


Bases are ionic compounds which contain metal and hydrogen ions. Bases tastes are bitter and slippery when dissolved in water. For example, when we rub household ammonia between our fingers, we will feel the slipperiness of the base. Soap is slippery because it contains base. When it is placed on red litmus paper, bases will turn blue.

Acids will neutralize base and a base will neutralize an acid. For example, magnesium hydroxide is found in milk of magnesium, neutralizes stomach acid.


Salt is a compound and it is combined of acid and base. There are many chemical compounds that are classified as salts according to Journey into Science. Table salt is the most common salt and sodium chloride. Salt will contain baking soda and sodium bicarbonate. Salts are made of metallic and non-metallic ions. The tightly bonded ions present in salts are weakened and so it separates in water. Salts can be of different colors and of five tastes, they include, salty, sweet, bitter, sour, or savory. Their odor mainly depends on acids and base as it is comprised of.