CHAPTER – 2
Acids, Bases and Salts
You have learnt in your previous classes that the sour and bitter tastes of food are due to acids and bases, respectively, present in them.
If someone in the family is suffering from a problem of acidity after overeating, which of the following would you suggest as a remedy– lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda solution?
- Which property did you think of while choosing the remedy?
- Surely you must have used your knowledge about the ability of acids and bases to nullify each other’s effect.
- Recall how we tested sour and bitter substances without tasting them.
You already know that acids are sour in taste and change the colour of blue litmus to red, whereas, bases are bitter and change the colour of the red litmus to blue. Litmus is a natural indicator, turmeric is another such indicator. Have you noticed that a stain of curry on a white cloth becomes reddish-brown when soap, which is basic in nature, is scrubbed on it? It turns yellow again when the cloth is washed with plenty of water. You can also use synthetic indicators such as methyl orange and phenolphthalein to test for acids and bases.
In this Chapter, we will study the reactions of acids and bases, how acids and bases cancel out each other’s effects and many more interesting things that we use and see in our day-to-day life.
Litmus solution is a purple dye, which is extracted from lichen, a plant belonging to the division Thallophyta, and is commonly used as an indicator. When the litmus solution is neither acidic nor basic, its colour is purple. There are many other natural materials like red cabbage leaves, turmeric, coloured petals of some flowers such as Hydrangea, Petunia and Geranium, which indicate the presence of acid or base in a solution. These are called acid-base indicators or sometimes simply indicators.