How does an acid differ from a base?

1 Answer
Mar 23, 2016

Acids and bases differ in pH, flavor, feel, affect on indicators and reaction type.


pH- The biggest difference between an acid and a base is the pH. pH is ranged on a scale of 14. 7 is the center of this scale, and chemicals with a pH of 7 (ie water) are neutral. Acids fall on the low side of the scale. The most acidic chemicals have a pH of 1. Bases fall on the high side, with the most basic having a pH of 14.

Flavor- Acids taste sour while bases taste bitter.

Feel- Acids do not have a specific touch receptor associated with them, but bases often feel slippery.

Acids: Turn blue litmus red, turn methyl orange red
Bases: Turn red litmus blue, turn methyl orange yellow, turn phenolphthalein purple.

Reaction Type-
Acids: Acids are proton donors in reactions, meaning they give up an H+ ion. Acids neutralize bases producing a salt and water.
Bases: Bases are proton receptors, meaning they receive H+ ions. Bases neutralize acids producing a salt and water.