Acid Vs Base- Definition, 16 Major Differences, Examples

Acid Vs Base- 16 Major Differences


Basis Acid Base
Arrhenius concept An acid is a substance that produces hydrogen ion (H+) as the only positive ion when mixed with water. A base is a substance that produces hydroxyl ion (OH–) as the only negative ion when mixed with water.
Bronsted-Lowry Concept An acid is a species that can release/donate a proton to another species. A base is a species that can accept a proton.
Lewis Concept An acid is a species that can accept an electron pair. A base is a species that can donate an electron pair.
Strength The strength of an acid is based on the concentration of hydrogen ions. The strength of a base is based on the concentration of hydroxyl ions.
Physical nature Acids are corrosive in nature. Bases are slippery in nature.
Physical state Acids exist as solid, liquid, and gas-based on temperature. Bases usually exist in the solid-state except for ammonia which exists as a gas.
Taste Acids are sour in taste. Bases taste bitter.



Dissociation constant

Acids release hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in H2O

The dissociation constant of a strong acid is -2.

Bases release hydroxyl ions (OH–) when dissolved in H2O

The dissociation constant of a strong base is 12.               

pH value The pH value of acid is lower than that of water (7) with an acid of pH 1 being the strongest acid. The pH value of the base is higher than that of water and with base pH 14 being the strongest base.
Test with litmus Acids turn a blue litmus paper into red. Bases turn a red litmus paper into blue.
Test with phenolphthalein Phenolphthalein turns colorless in acidic solutions. Phenolphthalein turns pink in basic solutions.
Test with methyl orange Methyl orange turns red in color in acidic solutions. Methyl orange turns orange in color in basic solutions.
Test with universal indicator In the universal indicator, yellow and red color indicates acidic solutions. In the universal indicator, blue and violet color indicates basic solutions.
Reaction with metal Acids react with metals to give H2 gas. Bases don’t react with metals.
Examples Hydrochloric acid (HCl), Sulphuric acid (H2SO4), Nitric acid (HNO3), Phosphoric acid (H3PO4), Oxalic acid (C2H2O4), Boric acid (H3BO3), Acetic acid (CH3COOH), carbonic acid, (H2CO3), Aluminium chloride (AlCl3), etc. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), Potassium hydroxide (KOH), Calcium oxide (CaO), Magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), Ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH), Pyridine (C5H5N), Histidine (C6H9N3O2), Ammonia (NH3), etc.


  • Gautum SD, Pant M, and Adhikari NR (2016). Comprehensive Chemistry, Part 2. Sixth Edition. Heritage Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd.

Internet Sources

  • 5% – https://opentextbc.ca/chemistry/chapter/15-2-lewis-acids-and-bases/
  • 3% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenol_phthalein
  • 3% – https://brainly.com/question/2624790
  • 2% – https://www.microchemicals.com/products/etchants.html
  • 2% – https://quizlet.com/136496265/chapter-18-flash-cards/
  • 1% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid%E2%80%93base_reaction
  • 1% – https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/General_Chemistry/Map%3A_A_Molecular_Approach_(Tro)/16%3A_Acids_and_Bases/16.04%3A_Acid_Strength_and_the_Acid_Dissociation_Constant_(Ka)
  • 1% – https://brainly.com/question/3458136
  • 1% – https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070919080405AAvP2Rr
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