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Arrhenius Bases

Defines bases as compounds that ionize to produce hydroxide; illustrates common uses of bases.

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Eating Acid

Where do we see Arrhenius acids and bases?

Credit: FishHawk
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16502322@N03/4806634131/sizes/m/in/photolist-8jKfSg-8KhCX8-8KhCU6-8wJsUF-7ZZwbW-9pDk3d-aYHsHv-dodqAU-aoMgsL-bpCZeK-axnYsb-9T9o3m-8aH153-beYJCi-a1dQZv-9YioWA-84veVb-84vfr5-84vf9U-7EFLgL-fa9S2g-dAfW8x-avezHY-avexS3-avbUqa-aveA83-avbUUr-aveybA-dL7E2n-eWD2yj-8pqKaw-dtjNHJ-a1gGZh-a1gGWf-a1gGMd-7LxmJJ-abwbQN-7BtCDm-eWU3mQ-dgqiHj-djyjWv/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


Well, we may not see Arrhenius acids and bases, but we indirectly ingest some of them when we eat and drink.  Many companies use acids and bases to help process everyday foods.  Sulfuric acid, an Arrhenius acid, is used to make high fructose corn syrup and break down food in our own stomachs.  Calcium hydroxide, an Arrhenius base, can be used to process water, pickle foods, and substitute for baking soda.  But even though these chemicals can be used to make our food, they are also very dangerous and without neutralization can burn through our own skin.

Creative Applications

  1. Why is sulfuric acid an Arrhenius acid and why is calcium hydroxide an Arrhenius base?
  2. Is acetic acid (vinegar) an Arrhenius acid?
  3. Why is it so dangerous to handle these acids and bases? What about their structures make them so corrosive?

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