Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 28th December, 2019 @ 12:17: PM

Topics in Chemistry

Le Chatelier's Principle: Changes in Concentration and Pressure explained in Dynamic Equilibrium Chemical Equilibrium: Dynamic Equilibrium in Chemistry Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their Differences Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Compounds in Chemistry: Characteristics of Compounds Types of Mixture: Homogenous and Heterogeneous Mixtures Mixtures: Characteristics of Mixtures Physical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Chemical Properties of Matter explained with Examples Differences between Physical and Chemical Change Ionic Theory and Electrolysis Physical and Chemical Properties of Acids States of Matter: Characteristics of Solids Liquid State of Matter: Characteristics of Liquids Gaseous State of Matter: Characteristics of Gases Molar Mass, Worked Examples and Differences with Molecular Mass Elements: Characteristics of Elements Salts and Types of Salt in Chemistry

Academic Questions in Chemistry

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following statement is false concerning hydrocarbons?

  • A. Hydrocarbons can be aromatic

  • B. Hydrocarbons are made up of carbon and hydrogen only

  • C. Alkynes are aliphatic hydrocarbons

  • D. Alkenes have a carbon-carbon double bond in their structure

  • E. Benzene ring has a carbon-carbon triple bond in its structure

  • F. Hydrocarbons are the main constituents of petroleum and natural gas

The ability of carbon to form long chain of itself is called _____.

  • A. Carbon chain reaction

  • B. Catenation

  • C. Carbontion

  • D. Carbontion

  • E. Organic chemistry

  • F. Carbon moleculation

Calculate the relative molecular mass of methane. (Carbon = 12.001, H = 1.00794).

  • A. 13.00894 amu

  • B. 11.00206 amu

  • C. 12.00794 amu

  • D. 14.001 amu

  • E. 15.001 amu

  • F. 16.033 amu

Which of he following is not a fact concerning gold?

  • A. 24 karat gold is the purest gold element

  • B. It is the 50th rarest metal amongst all elements found beneath the earth crust

  • C. It is the most malleable and ductile pure metal ever known

  • D. It is the only metal with a golden color

  • E. Gold is non toxic and can be eaten with food

  • F. It's present inside the earth crust in all seven continents

Which of the following is not an example of a chemical change?

  • A. The burning of wood
  • B. The melting of candle wax
  • C. The decomposition of food
  • D. The rotting of leaves
  • E. The lightening of a match stick
  • F. None of the above

Which of the following is not a fraction of crude oil?

  • A. Gasoline
  • B. Naphtha
  • C. Benzene
  • D. Wax
  • E. Paraffin
  • F. Lubrication Oil

The Separating Funnel is a technique used in the separation of mixtures. Another name for Separating Funnel is the _____ Funnel.

  • A. Partition
  • B. Separatory
  • C. Division
  • D. Liquid
  • E. Half
  • F. Dividing

2NH4+(aq) + Ag+(aq) -> 2H4AgN

The equation above represents _____ acid.

  • A. Svante Arrhenius'

  • B. Brønsted–Lowry's

  • C. Gilbert Lewis'

  • D. Avogadro's

  • E. Sir Isaac Newton's

  • F. Albert Einstein's



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Physical properties of Acids:

  1. They have sour taste. (Acid in Latin means sour).

  2. They will turn a blue litmus paper to red.

  3. On a pH scale, they have a value less than 7 (<7). The pH scale is used to measure the degree of acidity or alkalinity substances. It's values ranges from 0-14.

  4. They will change the color of methyl orange from orange/yellow to pink.

  5. They will change color of phenolphthalein from pink to colourless.

  6. They are corrosive. A corrosive substance can burn the human skin.

  7. Aqueous form of acids can conduct electricity.

Please read on the various Definitions of Acid with appropriate Chemical Reactions here.


Chemical properties of Acids

1. Neutralization Reaction: This is a reaction in which an acid reacts with a base to form salt and water only.

The equations below shows neutralization reaction between an acid and a base:

HCl(aq) + NaOH(aq) -> NaCl(s) + H2O(l)

HNO3(aq) + NaOH(aq) -> NaNO3(s) + H2O(l)

Note: Normal salt is a type of salt formed from a Neutralization reaction.

NaCl and NaNO3 are Normal salts formed from the above reaction.

Please read on Salt and Type of Salts here.


2. Reaction with Metals: When an acid reacts with metals higher than hydrogen in the activity or electrochemical series, hydrogen gas will be evolved or discharged.

Below is a table that shows the Electrochemical Series or Activity Series or Reactivity Series of elements:
Electrochemical Series - Len Academy
Image Credit: Redefining Knowledge

The reactions below shows the displacement of hydrogen gas from an acid during its reaction with metals higher than hydrogen in the electrochemical series.

Zn(s) + 2HCl(aq) -> ZnCl2(aq) + H2(g)

2Al(s) + 6HCl(aq) -> 2AlCl3(aq) + 3H2(g)

Notice that Zinc (Zn) and Aluminium (Al) are higher than hydrogen (H) in the electrochemical series, hence displacing it from the acid "HCl".

Please read on the Physical Properties of Metals here.


3. Reaction with Carbonates: When an acids reacts with carbonates, salt and water is produced as carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) is given off.

The equation below shows the reaction between acids and carbonates:

Na2CO3(s) + H2SO4(aq) -> Na2SO4(s) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)

CaCO3(s) + H2SO4(aq) -> CaSO4(s) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)

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4. Reaction with Bicarbonates: It is similar to the reaction with carbonates in the sense that salt, water and carbon(IV)oxide are produced respectively. This is shown in the equations below:

KHCO3(s) + HCl(aq) -> KCl(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)

NaHCO3(s) + HCl(aq) -> NaCl(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g) + H2O(l)

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Chemistry

The only letters that failed to appear on the periodic table are letters:

J     &     Q

Gold and copper are the only two non-silvery colored metals.

Please read some interesting facts about gold here

Copper is the only metal that is naturally antibacterial. This is why you would see some children utilize 'copper' water bottles in schools

Water actually freezes faster when it’s warm than when it’s cold

Most element in their pure state exists physically in different forms. For instance, pure carbon can exist as both diamond and graphite. This phenomenon is called allotropy.

Please read on modification of Dalton's atomic theory here.

If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will go down rather than overflowing the glass.

Similarly, if you mix half liter of water and half litre of alcohol, the total volume of the liquid will be les than one litre


A major challenge encountered when calculating molecular mass is that it becomes difficult or impossible to calculate especially when the relative molecular mass of large molecules, polymers and macromolecules are involved.

Examples of large molecules (with indefinite molecular masses) include carbohydrates, cellulose and complex sugars.

The large molecules (above) have no specific chemical formula throughout their volume.

Please read more on Carbohydrates and Sugars here

Understand that Relative Molecular Mass prove to be useful only when we calculate substances with small and definite molecular sizes. This was proven through the Modifications of Dalton's Atomic Theory.

Please read on Dalton's Atomic Theory and its Modifications here.

Calculate the Relative Molecular Mass of Methane (CH4). (Carbon=12.001 and H=1.00794)

  • Molecular Mass = Atomic mass of carbon + Atomic mass of Hydrogen
  • Methane is composed of one atom of Carbon and 4 atoms of Hydrogen.
  • 12.001 + (1.00794 x 4)

Molecular Mass of Methane = 16.033 amu

Please read more on molecular mass here

Calculate the Relative Molecular Mass of Water (H2O). (Oxygen=15.9994 and Hydrogen=1.00794)

  • Molecular Mass = Atomic mass of Hydrogen + Atomic mass of Oxygen
  • Water contains 2 atoms of Hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen.
  • (1.00794 x 2) + 15.9994

Molecular Mass of Water = 18.015 Da

Please read on Emperical Formula and its Calculations here

Gold ; Len Academy

Below are some facts about gold

  • It is the only metal that has a gold (golden) color.

  • Gold is present inside the earth crust in all the seven continents.

  • Pure gold is soft and very stretchable (It can even be stretched into threads).

  • The Latin name of Gold is aurum which means 'shining dawn'. For this reason, its chemical symbol is 'Au'.

  • Gold is a very good conductor of electricity. This is why it’s sometimes used in making USB and audio cables.

  • Gold is non toxic and can be eaten with food. It is sometimes added to desserts in some expensive restaurants.

  • The term Gold originated from an ancient English word 'geolu' which means yellow.

  • 24karat gold is the purest gold element.

Please read more interesting facts about gold here

An acid is a substance that produces Hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water (or when in the form of an aqueous solution).

Svante Arrhenius definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that donates a proton in a chemical reaction.

Brønsted Thomas Martin Lowry definition of Acid


An acid is a substance that accept an electron pair in a chemical reaction.

Gilbert Newton Lewis definition of Acid


Finally, Acids can also be also defined as substances that gives out hydronium ion (H3O+) when dissolved in water.


In summary, all acids will always contain the positive H+ (cation) and an anionic group in their formula. For instance, the acid HCl (Hydrogen Chloride) contains H+ as cation and Cl- as its anion.

Please read the explanations of the above definitions of acid here