What is an acid in chemistry

Acid is any chemical compound that releases or yields hydrogen ions (H+) in aqueous solution.

There are three theories that define what an acid is:

  • Arrhenius theory: an acid is a substance that, when dissolved in water, increases its concentration of hydronium cation (H3EITHER+).
  • Brønsted–Lowry theoryAn acid is a substance capable of donating protons.
  • Lewis theoryAn acid is a substance that receives two electrons.

Acid derives from the Latin aciduswhich means “that hurts the sense of taste”.

See also Basis.

types of acids

Acids are classified into two large groups according to their ionization capacity:

strong acids

They are those compounds capable of releasing hydrogen ions (H+) with ease in a solution. They are characterized by being highly corrosive, they completely dissociate in an aqueous solution and have the ability to conduct electrical energy efficiently.

examples of strong acids They are hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hydrobromic acid (HBr).

weak acids

They are chemical compounds that do not release hydrogen ions (H+) in large quantity. They are characterized by being less corrosive and do not completely dissociate in an aqueous solution.

examples of weak acids They are hypobromous acid (HBrO) and carbonic acid (HtwoCO3).

Characteristics of acids

  • They are conductors of electrical energy.: that is, this type of energy flows easily through its ions.
  • When reacting with metals they generate hydrogen (H) and salt.
  • When reacting with bases or metal oxides, they generate water (HtwoO) and salt.
  • They are corrosive on contact with skin.: For example, hydrochloric acid (HCl), known as muriatic acid, can cause tissue destruction, so it is considered a controlled use material.
  • They are soluble in water: that is, they dissociate or dissolve easily in water.
  • Your pH level is below 7: pH measures the concentration of ions (H+) in a solution. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity.
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See also pH.

examples of acids

  • Nitric acid (HNO3): used to make fertilizers and as a reagent for laboratory analysis.
  • phosphoric acid (H3PO4): is one of the components of dental restoration materials and soft drinks.
  • Oxalic acid (HtwoCtwoEITHER4): it is present in floor cleaning products, wood and to remove rust
  • Acetic acid (CH3COOH): It is present in vinegar, and is also used as a base for textiles such as rayon and nylon.

See also: Acids and bases.