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Base

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There are a wide array of uses for bases in our world.
There are a wide array of uses for bases in our world.
=== Industrial ===
=== Industrial ===
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Bases are widely used for industrial purposes in America. A very common basic compound is Sodium Hydroxide, or caustic soda. Sodium Hydroxide's chemical formula is NaOH and is used in the manufacture of multiple products such as soaps, rayon, and paper. It is also used in the petroleum refining process.
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Bases are widely used for industrial purposes in America. A very common basic compound is Sodium Hydroxide, or caustic soda. Sodium Hydroxide's chemical formula is NaOH and it is used in the manufacture of multiple products such as soaps, rayon, and paper. It is also used in the petroleum refining process.
=== Domestic ===
=== Domestic ===

Revision as of 20:32, 4 May 2009

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Contents

Introduction

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Properties

The most defining property of bases is their ability to readily accept protons from other substances. Another major property of bases is their reaction with acids. When an acid and a base are mixed the base reacts with the acid and neutralizes it. A slippery sensation is felt when basic solutions are touched which is partly attributed to the ions. When tasted, bases are very bitter and give certain foods their bitter taste where they are present. When red litmus is exposed to a basic solution, it changes from a red hue to a blue one.[1]

Definitions

The three most prominent definitions of bases are Arrhenius bases, Brönsted-Lowry bases, and Lewis bases.

Arrhenius Base

An Arrhenius base is one that gives up hydroxide ions into aqueous solutions. This definition was put forth by the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius in the 1880s. This definition is outdated because it only concerns bases in aqueous solutions and does not take into consideration basic compounds that do not have an OH group. As a result this is the most narrow of the three definitions of bases(Cox, Porch, Wetzel, p389-390).

Brönsted-Lowry Base

A Brönsted-Lowry base is defined as a substance which receives protons. This definition was created by a Danish chemist by the name of J. N. Brönsted and a British chemist named I. M. Lowry in 1923. Brönsted-Lowry bases are paired with acids, forming what is referred to as conjugate pairs. When a Brönsted-Lowry acid goes through deprotonation (the process of losing a proton) it forms something that will readily receive a proton, forming the conjugate base. The same is true when the process is reversed and a Brönsted-Lowry base becomes the conjugate acid. All bases that fall under the definition of an Arrhenius base are also a Brönsted-Lowry base and, because the Brönsted-Lowry definition is more broad, it includes bases that do not fall under the Arrhenius definition(Cox, Porch, Wetzel, p391). This is the most commonly used definition of bases(Cox, Porch, Wetzel, p392).

Lewis Base

Brönsted and Lowry were not the only chemists proposing new ideas about bases in 1923 because an American chemist named Gilbert N. Lewis proposed his own definition in the same year. The Lewis definition is the most broad of the three and includes Arrhenius bases, Brönsted-Lowry bases, and more. A Lewis base is one that that is able to give a pair of electrons. The definition is based off of the fact that bases have at least one unbonded pair of electrons and acids have at least one unoccupied orbital. Lewis bases that are combined with lewis acids form covalent bonds between the two substances(Cox, Porch, Wetzel, p392).

pH Scale

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. It was created by Danish chemist Soren P. L. Sorenson in 1909. The pH scale was created to describe the concentrations of hydronium and hydroxide ions in acids and bases in a quick and easy way(Cox, Porch, Wetzel p396). The scale goes from 0 to 14; the middle of the scale, 7, is neutral. Any substance that has a pH above 7 is basic and any substance below 7 is acidic. Weak bases are those that are closer to pH 7 while strong bases are closer to pH 14.[2]

Uses

There are a wide array of uses for bases in our world.

Industrial

Bases are widely used for industrial purposes in America. A very common basic compound is Sodium Hydroxide, or caustic soda. Sodium Hydroxide's chemical formula is NaOH and it is used in the manufacture of multiple products such as soaps, rayon, and paper. It is also used in the petroleum refining process.

Domestic

Bases are used in cleaning solutions such as soap because they can dissolve grease.

Organisms

Bases are used in nature. In the human body, bases are used to neutralize acids to prevent them from harming organs.

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References

  • Bases ScienceByJones.com, Larry Jones, March 2, 2007.
  • Chemistry for Christian Schools, Heather E. Cox, Thomas E. Porch, D.M.D., John S Wetzel, M.S,. Bob Jones University Press.
  • pH Scale Virtual Chembook. Elmhurst College. Charles E. Ophardt. 2003.


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