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Strength of Acidic or Basic Solutions

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1.In our digestive system Hydrochloric acid produced in our stomach helps the digestion of food without causing any harm to the stomach. But when the amount of the acid goes beyond a certain limit due to indigestion, pain and irritation are created in the stomach. So, in order to neutralize the effect of excess acid, a mild base called antacid is usually taken. Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) is a mild base which is usually used as an antacid.

2. Acids cause tooth decay When we eat sugary food, it gets degraded by bacteria present in the mouth and an acid is formed. When the pH becomes lower than 5.5, tooth enamel gets corroded. Saliva, which is slightly alkaline, produced in the mouth neutralizes some acid, but excess acid remains unaffected. The excess acid can be removed only by the use of toothpaste which is alkaline. Neem stick contains alkaline juice. So, the cleaning of tooth by Neem stick also helps to reduce tooth decay.

3. Acid is produced in fatigued muscle As a result of physical exercise, stiffness and pain in the muscle starts due to the formation of lactic acid. The supply of oxygen in the muscle is reduced. This causes difficulty in the release of energy leading to increase in the rate of anaerobic metabolism. As a result, lactic acid gets accumulated in the muscles.


4. Some animals and plants contain acids Honey-bee injects an acid through its stings which causes pain and irritation. Hence, a mild base like baking soda is applied to treat the wound. Similarly, nettle leaves, which have stinging hairs, when touched inject formic acid in our body. This causes a burning pain.
Note: Nettle is a stinging plant. When one accidentally touches its hairs, a painful effect is produced. As a remedy, the affected area is rubbed with the dock plant. The dock plant is alkaline which neutralizes the effect of the acid.


5. The brilliance of a tarnished copper vessel can be restored by using acid You know, lemon juice contains an acid. In order to clean a copper vessel, we rub it with the piece of a lemon. The tarnish on the vessel is caused by the formation of a layer of basic copper oxide. Since lemon juice contains citric acid, it reacts with the copper oxide to form copper citrate and is washed away. The vessel then regains its shining appearance.


6. pH of soil Soils are generally acidic. Plants require definite pH range for their proper growth. They do not grow in alkaline soil. Many plants do not grow properly in highly acidic or highly alkaline soil. So, highly acidic soil is treated by spreading quicklime, slaked lime or calcium carbonate to lower its acidity.




In pH scale ‘p’ stands for ‘potenz’. Potenz is a German word which means ‘power’ or ‘potential’. Here; ‘H’ stands for hydrogen ion. Thus, pH means the potential of hydrogen or power of hydrogen.

The strength of acid or base depends upon the hydrogen ion concentration. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is greater than hydroxide ion, the solution is called acidic. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is smaller than the hydroxide ion, the solution is called basic. If the concentration of hydrogen ion is equal to the concentration of hydroxide ion, the solution is called neutral solution.

pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.


The pH scale usually ranges from 0 to 14. Aqueous solution at 25°C with a pH less than 7 are acidic while those with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. A pH level of 7.0 at 25°C is defined as ‘Neutral’


  • pH Scale
  • Importance of pH in Everyday Life
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Series 3 | Acid & Base part 13 (Ph : How strong are acid & base)

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Acid & Base part 13 (Ph : How strong are acid & base) [00:14:32]
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