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Sodium hydroxide, the most common hydroxide

Hydroxide is an ion. Its chemical formula is OH-. Many hydroxides are basic. The hydroxides of the alkali metals and the alkaline earth metals are strong bases. Most of the transition metal hydroxides are insoluble. Sodium hydroxide, the most common hydroxide, is made by electrolysis of a solution of sodium chloride. Hydroxides can be seen as hydrated oxides. Some metal oxides react with water to make metal hydroxides:

Na2O + H2O --> 2 NaOH

Some examples of strong bases

Formula Name Common name
LiOH Lithium hidroxide
NaOH Sodium hydroxide Caustic soda
KOH Potassium hidroxide
Ca(OH)2 Calcium hidroxide
Ba(OH)2 Barium hidroxide
Sr(OH)2 Strontium hidroxide


There are numerous uses for many existing hydroxides. Some examples are:

  • Caustic soda helps to control and remedy the acidic pollution of the environment. So it is used in various processes to control the acidity and neutralize acidic waste.
  • Potassium hydroxide is used in alkaline batteries electrolytes.[1]


  1. Brown, Lawrence S.; Holme, Thomas A (2011). Chemistry for Engineering Students (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. p. 309. ISBN 978-1-4390-4791-0.