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Difference Between Acid and Base

In chemistry, acids and bases are one of the most important parts. They also play a significant role in another field of science as well. Acids and Bases are everywhere, right from the soaps used during the shower to the citric acid or vinegar present in the kitchen. Though it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. Let us now discuss the difference between Acid and Base.

What is Acid?

Acids are those substances that release one or more H+ ions in aqueous solution. An acid is a substance that can donate a hydrogen ion (H+) to another substance in an aqueous solution. Acids have a pH of less than 7.0. Acids are Sour in taste. It gives a burning sensation when comes to contact with the skin. Acids are usually sticky in nature. Acids are mostly obtained from natural sources.

What is Base?

Those substances that accept the proton and donate electron are termed as the base. A substance capable of releasing one or more OH- ions in aqueous solution is termed as the base. The pH values corresponding to bases are always greater than 7. A base that completely ionizes in water and thus produces a large number of hydroxide ions (OH- ions) is called a Strong Base or Strong Alkali. E.g. Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide.

Difference Between Acid and Base 

difference between acid and base

                                                                                       difference between acid and base

The important difference between Acid and Base

Parameter Acid Base
Definition An acid is any chemical compound once dissolved in water produces a solution with hydrogen ion activity more than purified water A base is an aqueous substance that absorbs hydrogen ions.
Strength It relies on the concentration of the hydronium ions It relies on the concentration of the hydroxide ions
Examples Acetic acid and sulphuric acid Sodium Hydroxide and Ammonia
Characteristics (Physical) Acids depend upon the temperature acids would look solid, liquid, or in the form of gas. It would also have a sour taste. Bases are slippery and solid in nature (exception is ammonia, which is gaseous). It has a bitter taste.
Disassociation Acids release hydrogen ions (h+) when mixed with water Bases would release hydroxide ions(OH-) when mixed with water
Test with Litmus Acid turns blue litmus paper into red Base turn red litmus paper into blue
Chemical formula Those compound whose chemical formula begins with H are acids, for example, HCl (Hydrochloric acid) Those compounds whose chemical formula ends with OH are bases, for example, KOH (Potassium hydroxide)
pH scale Less than 7 Greater than 7
Phenolphthalein Indicator It remains colorless It gives a pink color
Uses Used as preservatives, fertilizers, processing leather, household cleaning, etc. Used in antacid, soaps, detergents, cleanser, etc.

As we have now understood the difference between Acid and Base, let us now discuss more of Acid and Base.


Some acids are strong and others are weak. The weak acids can hold on to some of their protons, while the strong acids let go of all of their protons. All acids will release hydrogen ions into solutions. The acid is weak or strong is determined by the number of ions that get released per molecule.

There are many uses of an acid. Some uses are sulphuric acid is used as manufacturer of fertilizers, paints, synthetic fibers, detergent, explosives, and car batteries. For making explosives such as TNT, dyes, and plastic we use Nitric acid. We use hydrochloric acid for removing oxides films from steel objects and removing scale deposits from inside the boiler.


Bases have a soapy texture when touched. Bases release hydroxide ions (OH ions) when dissolved in water. They act as good conductors of electricity in aqueous solution. Bases are bitter-tasting substances.

The bases are used in the manufacturing of soap and paper, manufacture of rayon. Calcium hydroxide is used to manufacture bleaching powder. Magnesium hydroxide, also known as milk of magnesia, is commonly used as an antacid. It reduces any excess acidity in the human stomach. Ammonium hydroxide used in laboratories as a reagent. By employing slaked lime in soils any excess acidity can be neutralized.

FAQs about Acid and Base:

Q1.Why are acids called proton donors?

Answer: an acid is a proton donor because Acids are substances that can donate H+ ions to bases. As a hydrogen atom is a proton. And technically one electron an H+ ion, is just a proton. So, a base is a proton acceptor. The reaction between an acid and base is a proton transfer.

Q2. Is Strong acid the same as concentrated acid?

Answer: The concentration of an acid depends upon the water content whereas the strength of an acid depends on dissociation power.

Q3. What is a universal indicator?

Answer: Universal indicator is the mixture of synthetic indicators which is used to find the pH of solutions.

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