Differences between Acid and Base (Full Details)

In chemistry, the terms “acid” and “base,” which are used to distinguish between two important classes of chemicals based on their chemical behavior, are employed. Based on how they dissolve, chemical substances can be categorized into three groups: acids, bases, and salts. Acids are recognizable chemical compounds that act as proton donors because they have a releasable H+ ion.

Chemical substances known as bases act as hydrogen acceptors and are frequently recognized as synthetic bases because they include a releasable OH- ion. The difference between acids and bases is that while bases function as proton acceptors, acids act as proton donors. When acids and bases interact to form a solution, the H+ and OH– ions balance each other out to form water molecules. Salts are made when their ionic forms come together.

What is an Acid?


Compounds that transfer a hydrogen ion (H+) to another chemical are known as acids (usually called a base). According to conventional wisdom, an acid is a chemical substance that, when dissolved in water, creates a solution that has a higher concentration of hydrogen ions than clean water.

Here are a few characteristics of acids:

  • possess an acidic flavor and are caustic in nature
  • possess a pH lower than 7.0
  • Change the color of blue litmus paper to red.
  • create hydrogen ions through dissociation in water.
  • Create carbon (IV) oxide, water, and salt by reacting with carbonates.
  • Salt and water are the only products of metal reactions.

Types of Acids

Strong acids fully dissociate ions in water, whereas weak acids only partially do so. Strong Acids – A strong acid totally separates the ions in water. The only six strong acids are as follows: Hydrochloric acid (HCL), perchloric acid (HClO4), nitric acid (HNO3), hydrobromic acid (HBr), hydroiodic acid (HI), and hydrochloric acid (HClO3) (chloric acid).

Weak Acids: A weak acid partially separates ions in water. The remaining acids are weak, with the exception of those six. While hydrochloric acid is a very potent acid that is equally caustic in nature but is categorized as a weak acid, hydrofluoric acid is created when hydrogen and halogen combine in a process to produce a weak acid.

What is a Base?


On the other hand, an alkali is a base that is soluble in nature. Salts are created when volatile liquids (such as acids) are combined with particular compounds. The created salts were referred to as bases because they might be used to create a concrete base. Typically, bases are H+ acceptors while acids are H+ donors.

Here are a few characteristics of bases:

  • its pH is more than 7.0
  • They have corrosive properties.
  • Create a neutral solution by reacting with acids
  • Hydroxyl ions are present in all soluble bases.

Types of Bases

  • Strong Base: It completely separates into its ions when placed in water or another substance that can accept a proton (H+) from a weak acid. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) are both strong bases (KOH).
  • Weak Bases: These bases fully break down in water. Aqueous solution is one of the examples of a base and its conjugate acid.
  • Neutral Base: The neutral base is the substance that joins the neutral acid in a chemical reaction.
  • Super Base: This type of base functions even better than a strong base because it is composed of an alkali metal and its conjugate acid. Super bases are best illustrated by sodium hydride (NaH).
  • Solid Base: It can be used for gaseous acid interactions or anion exchange resins. In its solid state, it is functional. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) placed on alumina are examples of solid base materials.

Key Differences Between Acid and Base

  • Bases are compounds that dissolve in water to raise the concentration of hydroxyl ions, whereas acids dissolve in water to increase the concentration of hydrogen.
  • While bases are proton acceptors, acids are proton givers.
  • While bases have OH at the end of their chemical formula, acids have H at the beginning.
  • While bases are bitter and slippery, acids have sour tastes.
  • Phenolphthalein remains colorless in the presence of acids, whereas it becomes pink in the presence of bases.
  • While bases rely on the concentration of hydroxyl ions, acids depend on the quantity of hydrogen ions.
  • In water, bases breakdown to produce hydroxyl ions as the only negative ion and acids to produce hydrogen ions as the only positive ions.
  • Acetic acid and hydrochloric acid are examples of acids, while sodium hydroxide and ammonium chloride are examples of bases.
  • Acids react with metals to produce hydrogen gas, whereas bases do not.
  • The quantity of hydronium ions determines an acid’s concentration strength, whereas the quantity of hydroxide ions determines a base’s concentration strength.
  • Acids are used to process leather, make preservatives, and make fertilizers, whereas bases are used to make soap, detergents, and stomach medications.


  • Both may conduct electricity in an aqueous condition because they are electrolytes.
  • Both respond with signs to create various hues.
  • Both are water soluble.
  • When they interact, they both produce salt and water.
  • They are both chemical compounds.


It’s crucial to comprehend both the chemical and physical properties. Understanding the distinctions between acid and base is useful. Both bases and acids play significant roles in daily life, not just in chemistry labs.