Free Article Review on Acids and Bases Essay Sample

This article is about the strength of acids and bases. The article provides clear definition of acids and bases and provides examples. According to Helmenstine, acids and bases in an aqueous solution do not exist as molecules but rather as Ions which is necessary for reactions to take place. However, the weak electrolytes are incompletely dissociated.  According to Helmenstine, there are six strong acids whereas the rest of the available acids are weak. The strong acids dissociate in water forming H+ herein referred to as hydrogen Ions. The six strong acids are; hydrochloric acid (HCl ), nitric acid (HNO3), sulphuric acid (H2SO4), hydrobromic acid (HBr), hydrodoic acid (HI) and Perchloric acid (HClO4) (Helmenstine, 2010). Strong acids are those that dissociate completely in solutions of less than 1.0 M. However an increase in concentration of the acid in aqueous solutions will result in decrease the level of dissociation.
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Weak acids dissociate in water partially to give hydrogen ions and an anion. Examples of weak acids include Hydroflouric acid and acetic acid. Hemsteidem further explains that weak acid consist of molecules which contain an ionizable proton. Examples of weak acids are; organic acids which contain one or more carboxyl groups and transition metal cations and heavy metal cations. On the other hand strong bases dissociate completely into a cation and a Hydroxide ion. Hydroxides of group one and group two metals are considered to be strong bases. Examples of the most common strong bases include; Lithium hydroxide, sodium Hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, rubidium hydroxide, cesium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, strontium hydroxide and barium hydroxide.  Helmenstein further explains that most weak bases are anions of weak acids and do not provide hydroxide ions but instead react with water to provide the hydroxide ions. Examples of weak bases include ammonia and diethylamine.

The information provided in this article is relevant in providing basic information on acids and bases.  The article provides a succinct description of weak and strong acids and basis. According to Helmeinstine acids and bases could be differentiated as strong or weak depending on the level of dissociation in water. The strong acids dissociate completely in aqueous solutions less than 0.1 M whereas strong bases dissociate completely in aqueous solutions with concentration less than 1M. Weak acids on the other hand do not dissociate completely to provide Hydrogen ions. The weak bases on the other hand do not dissociate but react with the water to provide hydroxyl ions. It is interesting to note that most of the weak bases are inions of weak acids.

The information provided in the article is relevant in differentiating strong from weak acids. In addition the author provides information necessary for differentiating the weak from strong bases. Helmeinstine has provided examples of strong and weak acids and bases to enable the reader get a clear differentiation of the two. The article also provides information regarding the components of acids and bases which further help the reader get a clear description on how dissociation occurs. The article has provided a single diagram that enables the reader associate and link the information provided with the surrounding environment.

The results of this article could further be expanded to provide information on how to determine whether an acid is strong or weak. Other characteristics of differentiating weak from strong acids and basis have not been provided. Therefore despite the clear definition of acids and bases the reader may not be able to differentiate the weak from strong acids and bases in the environment. Information presented does not delineate the procedure of determining whether a given solution is acidic or basic. In the article Helmeinstine has provided a clear definition of acids and bases, however the procedure for separating one from the other has not been detailed. In addition the author should provide information on reactions between acids and bases. Information provided explains the ionization of acids and bases in aqueous solutions but does not explain the reaction between acids and bases and their resultant products.  Due to the reaction of acids and basis with other compounds it might be important to provide examples of such products in the environment so that the reader can be able to locate such compounds in the environment.

The article could further give examples of where these bases and acids are easily found in the environment. Probably some of the acids and bases explained are easily available therefore their existence in our immediate environment and their reaction with other compounds could be provided in the article. This could be done by addition of pictures showing some of these bases and acids in the environment. This is because not all readers hail from the same location but everyone would prefer to see the acids and basis in their provided environment.


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