Acids, Bases and Salts

Neutralization Reaction

Neutralization is a chemical reaction in which acid and base react to form salt and water. Hydrogen (H+) ions and hydroxide (OH- ions) react with each other to form water. The strong acid and strong base neutralization have a pH value of 7. Let’s find out more about the Neutralization reaction.

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Neutralization Reaction

Neutralization Reaction

What Is Neutralization?


Neutralization is a process when acids and bases react to form salt and water.  In a reaction to water, neutralization results in excess hydrogen or hydroxide ions present in the solution. The pH of the neutralized solution depends on the strength of the acid or base involved in it. If a strong acid is mixed with a strong base then the salt formed is neutral. If a strong acid is mixed with a weak base then the acid formed is acidic. Similarly, if a weak acid is mixed with a strong acid then the salt formed is basic Neutralization is used in many applications.

For example, Acid + Base —-> Salt + Water i. e. NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide, a base) + HCl (Hydrochloric acid, an acid) ——> NaCl (Salt) + H2O (Water)

Browse more Topics under Acids Bases And Salts

Uses Of Neutralization

Some uses of Neutralization are as follows:

To treat wasp stings

Wasp Sting’s venom is basic in nature, applying vinegar to the sting neutralizes the sting as vinegar is acidic in nature.

To treat acidity or gastric patients

Acidity or gastric problems arise due to an increase of acid in the stomach, Anti-acids or antacids are medicines containing bases such as NaCHO3 (sodium bicarbonate) Mg(OH)2  (magnesium hydroxide) to neutralize the excess acid in the stomach.

To treat acidic or basic soils

Plants don’t grow well if the soil is too acidic or too basic. To neutralize acidic soils, bases like the ash of burnt wood, CaO, CaCO3, etc are added. Similarly, basic soils are neutralized.

To treat tooth decay or cavities

Most food particles are acidic in nature. For example, lemonade, chocolate, etc. Such foods produce acid in our mouth which reacts with enamel i.e. calcium phosphate and leads to cavities. Using toothpaste while brushing helps to neutralize the acid since toothpaste is a base.

To treat bee stings

Bee stings contain formic acid and are acidic in nature, these stings can be neutralized by applying a base like baking soda.

To prevent coagulation of the latex

In the rubber industry, ammonia solution, NH4OH, is used to prevent the coagulation of latex because ammonia solution, NH4OH, can neutralize the acid (lactic acid) produced by bacteria in the latex.

What is a Neutralization Reaction?

Strong acid and a strong base react with one another in a process known as neutralization to produce water and salt. Because bee stings are acidic in nature, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a common home cure for bee stings. On the other hand, a wasp sting is somewhat basic, thus vinegar, also known as acetic acid, is a common home cure for this. These straightforward remedies work by neutralizing the stings, which are uncomfortable.


Titration is a method of chemical analysis where the quantity of a sample’s ingredient is determined by adding a precisely measured amount of a different substance to which the desired constituent will react in a specific, known proportion.

Types of Neutralization Reactions

  1. Strong acid and strong base: The acid and base will react to create a neutral solution in a strong acid-strong base titration. Hydronium (H+ ) and hydroxide (OH) ions will combine to produce water at the reaction’s equivalence point, which will result in a pH of 7. This holds true for all titrations of strong acids and strong bases. The titration of sodium hydroxide (strong base) and hydrochloric acid (strong acid) to produce sodium chloride and water is an illustration of this. To establish the equivalence point in this titration, a buret must be used to dispense a strong base into a container of a strong acid, or vice versa.
  2. Strong acid and weak base

While weak acids only partially dissociate in water, strong acids totally separate into their ions. Since there are only a handful of strong acids (seven), many people opt to memorize them. Other acids are all weak. The powerful acids include perchloric acid, chloric acid, nitric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrobromic acid, and hydroiodic acid. Hydrofluoric acid is the only weak acid produced when a halogen reacts with hydrogen (HF). Although hydrofluoric acid is considered to be a weak acid, it is actually very potent and highly corrosive.

3. Weak acid and strong base

A weak acid combines with a strong base to produce a basic salt and water in a reaction known as a weak acid-strong base neutralization. Water is an example of this kind of reaction, which occurs when acetic acid combines with NaOH to produce sodium acetate. The hydroxyl ions are liberated because the generated acetate ion has a propensity to draw protons from the water. As a result, in this reaction, basic salts are created.

4. Weak acid and weak base

A weak acid combines with a weak base to produce a neutral salt and water in a weak acid-weak base neutralization process. An illustration of this kind of reaction is the reaction between water and acetic acid, which results in the formation of ammonium acetate. Weak bases and acids do not entirely dissociate, hence in this case the equilibrium is more to the left. An acid that partially separates into its ions in water or an aqueous solution is referred to as a weak acid. On the other hand, in water, a strong acid completely dissociates into its ions. While the conjugate acid of a weak base is also a weak acid, the conjugate base of a weak acid is also a weak base.

Relation Between the Strength of Reactants and Resultant pH

The pH of the products varies depending on the potential of the constituent acids and bases.

Strength of Acid Strength of Base Resultant pH
Strong Strong 7
Strong Weak < 7
Weak Strong > 7
Weak Weak If,

Ka>Kb => pH < 7

Ka=Kb => pH = 7

Ka<Kb => pH > 7

Neutralization Reaction Equation

Acid + Base → salt + water

HCl + NaOH → NaCl + H2O

FAQs on Neutralization Reaction

Question 1. Write the applications of a neutralization reaction?

Answer. The applications of a neutralization reaction are:

  • Due to the crop’s inability to grow in acidic soil, it is utilized in fertilizing.
  • Baking soda can be used to counteract the effects of the formic acid that a bee sting has released in our bodies.
  • We use antacid tablets containing Mg (OH)2 when we have acid reflux disease to counteract the effects of the HCl produced in our stomachs.

Question 2. How does one neutralize an acid?

Answer. Acids are neutralized using a weak base. Bases have a pH higher than 7 and a harsh or astringent flavour. There are several applications for sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and ammonium hydroxide.

Question 3. Are bee stings and wasp stings the same? Justify your answer.

  1. Yes, bee stings and wasp stings are the same.
  2. No, bee stings and wasp stings are not the same.

Answer. The correct answer is option “b”. No, bee stings and wasp stings are not the same. Bee stings contain formic acid and it is neutralized by adding a basic substance like baking soda. Whereas, a wasp sting venom is basic in nature, and can be neutralized by adding an acidic substance like vinegar.

Question 4. What is formed in the process of neutralization?

  1. Salt and water.
  2. Sugar and water.
  3. Oil and soap.
  4. Salt and oil.

Answer. The correct answer is option “a”. Neutralization creates salt and water.

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