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GCE Study Buddy Chemistry Notes

An acid is a substance that produces hydrogen ions when dissolved in water. All acids contain hydrogen. But not all substances with hydrogen contains acids (Water). The hydrogen ions produced are responsible for the properties of an acid. A strong acid is one that is completely ionized in water (eg HCl) whereas a weak acid is only partially ionized in water
Strong acids: Sulphuric acid, Nitric acid, Hydrochloric acid, Carbonic acid, Sulphurous acid, Phosphoric acid o Weak acids: Ethanoic acid, Methanoic acid, Lactic acid, Citric acid

Properties of Acids
Acids have a sour taste eg vinegar Acids are electrolytes because they dissolve in water to form ions which conduct electricity. Acids turn blue litmus paper red. pH value < 7. If concentrated they can be corrosive

Some common acids

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Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4) Nitric Acid (HNO3) Ethanoic Acid (Found in vinegar)

Chemical Properties of Acids

1.Acids react with reactive metals to form hydrogen gas and a salt.
Formula: Metal + Acid Salt + Hydrogen Reactive metals give out electrons easily to form positive ions. Example: Magnesium Ribbon with Dilute sulphuric acid. Equation:

Mg (s) + (H2SO4) (aq)

MgSO4 (aq) + H2 (g)

Chemical Properties of Acids

To test for hydrogen, place a lighted splint at the test tube and a pop sound will be heard. Some acid and metal reactions which do not give hydrogen:
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Unreactive metals (copper and silver) Concentrated nitric acid reacts with metals but it does not give hydrogen (gives nitrogen dioxide) Lead does not react as a coating is formed once lead is placed inside the acid.

Chemical Properties of Acids

2. Acids react with carbonates to form a salt,

carbon dioxide and water.

Equation: Acid + Carbonate Salt + Carbon Dioxide + Water Example: Sodium Carbonate + Dilute hydrochloric acid Sodium Chloride + Water + Carbon Dioxide Bubble the gas through limewater to test for carbon dioxide.

Chemical Properties of Acids

1.Acids react with metal oxides and hydroxides (Insoluble bases) to form salt and water.
General Equations: Metal Oxide + Acid Salt and Water. Metal Hydroxide + Acid Salt and Water

Acidity and Water

Acids only react when placed into water. This is because water can break apart the acid into hydrogen ions and a salt. Therefore, an acid dissociate in water to produce hydrogen ions which are responsible for the acidic properties. Acids only show their properties when dissolved in water. The hydrogen ions produced are not hydrogen gas. They react with metals like magnesium to produce hydrogen gas and magnesium ions. A few drops of water is enough to allow an acid to dissociate.

Uses of acids
Sulphuric Acid:
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Detergents Car Batteries Vinegar to preserve food Adhesives (glue)

Ethanoic Acid: Hydrochloric acid

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Cleaning metals Leather processing

Uses of Sulphuric acid & Sulphur dioxide

Sulphuric acid used to o Electrolyte in lead-acid batteries o Production of fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate, potassium sulphate, and calcium sulphate o Manufacture non-soapy detergents o Make artificial silks like rayon o Remove oxide from iron and steel before galvanising or electroplating Sulphur dioxide used to o Manufacture sulphurous acid H2SO3 o Manufacture sulphuric acid H2SO4 o Use as preservative o Used to sterilize things o Used to bleach wood pulp before making paper

Sulphur exists as S8 molecule in which 8 atoms of sulphur join together by covalent bonding

Weak van der Wals forces between sulphur molecules so sulphur has low melting and boiling point
Volcanic regions Natural gas and crude oil Minerals

Sources of sulphur

Oxides of sulphur
Sulphur dioxide SO2 S (s) + O2 (g) -- > SO2 (g) An acidic gas with choking smell o Sulphur trioxide SO3 2SO2 (g) + O2 (g) < --- > 2SO3 (g)

Manufacture of Sulphuric acid by Contact Process

The Contact Process is the current method of producing sulphuric acid in high concentrations needed for industrial processes

Catalyst: Vanadium(V) oxide

Contact Process Steps

1. Sulphur dioxide produced by burning sulphur o S (s) + O2 (g) -- > SO2 (g) 2. Sulphur dioxide is purified 3. Sulphur dioxide reacted with oxygen over vanadium(V) oxide catalyst o 2SO2 (g) + O2 (g) < ---- > 2SO3 (g) o Reaction is exothermic so it favors a low temperature for high yield of SO2 o But if temperature lowered, rate of reaction slows down so average temperature of 450oC used o Pressure kept at 2ATM 4. Sulphur trioxide dissolved in concentrates sulphuric acid to form oleum 1. SO3 (g) + H2SO4 (l) -- > H2S2O7 (l) 5. Oleum diluted with water to form sulphuric acid 1. H2SO4 (l) + H2O (l) -- > 2H2SO4 (l)

Bases are metal oxides and hydroxides Soluble bases are known as alkalis A base is a substance that reacts with an acid to give salt and water only --- neutralization reaction Acid + Base Salt and Water Similar to: Acid + Metal Oxide/Hydroxide Salt and Water. Ionic Equation for this is always: OH- + H+ H2O (l)

Common Bases
Sodium Oxide Zinc Oxide Copper (II) Oxide Magnesium Hydroxide Aluminum Hydroxide

Family of Bases

An alkali is a base that is soluble in water. Some examples include:
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Sodium Hydroxide Potassium Hydroxide Calcium Hydroxide Barium Hydroxide Aqueous Ammonia

Properties of Alkalis
Alkalis have a bitter taste and soapy feel. Alkalis turn red litmus paper blue. pH value > 7.

Chemical Properties of Alkalis

All alkalis produce hydroxide ions when dissolved in water. Example: Sodium Hydroxide + Water Sodium Ion + Hydroxide ion.

All alkalis react with acids to form salt and water only.

This is also known as neutralization.

In neutralization, the hydrogen ions from the acid react with the hydroxide ions of the alkali
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Neutralization reactions are exothermic

Sulphuric Acid Sulphate Hydrochloric Acid Chloride

The salt depends on the acid used. The ionic equation for this is standardized.

H+ (aq) + OH- (aq)

H2O (l).

Applications of Neutralization
1. Soil treatment farming
Most plants grow best at pH 7. If the soil is acidic or alkaline the plant may grow badly. Therefore, chemicals can be added to the soil to change its pH. If the soil is too acidic - the most common complaint - it is treated with a base (chemicals opposite to an acid) in order to neutralize it. Common treatments use quicklime (calcium oxide) or chalk (calcium carbonate).

Applications of Neutralization
2. Indigestion
We all have hydrochloric acid in our stomach - it helps breakdown food However, too much acid leads to indigestion. Therefore, to cure this ailment we need to neutralize the acid with a base such as, sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda), or an indigestion tablet.

Applications of Neutralization
3. Insect stings
A bee sting contains acid. To relieve the painful symptoms of the sting we need to neutralize the acid. By rubbing on calamine lotion (zinc carbonate) or baking soda the acid can be neutralized. Wasp stings are alkaline, hence acid is needed to neutralize and remove the painful sting. Vinegar (ethanoic acid) is used.

Chemical properties of alkalis

1. Alkalis heated with ammonium salts gives off ammonia gas.
General Equation: Alkali + Ammonium Salt Ammonia + Water + Salt. Ammonia has a strong smell and turn red litmus paper blue. Example: Calcium hydroxide + Ammonium chloride -- > Calcium Chloride + Water + Ammonia.

Chemical properties of alkalis

2. Alkalis can react with the solution of 1 metal salt to give metal hydroxide and another metal salt.
General Equation: Alkali + Salt (of metal A) --> Metal Hydroxide + Salt (of metal B) Example: Sodium Hydroxide + Iron (II) Sulphate --> Iron (II) Hydroxide + Sodium Sulphate.

Some common alkalis and bases

Type Alkalis Common name Chemical name Formula Caustic soda Caustic potash Ammonia solution Bases Slaked lime Sodium hydroxide NaOH Potassium hydroxide Aqueous ammonia Calcium hydroxide KOH NH3 (aq) Ca(OH)2

Milk of magnesia Magnesium oxide MgO Verdigris Copper(II) oxide CuO Rust Iron(III) oxide Fe2O3

Uses of alkalis
Ammonia Solution:
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Window cleaning solutions

To make iron, concrete, cement

Calcium Oxide: Magnesium Hydroxide:

Toothpaste to neutralise acid o teeth In antacids to relieve indigestion.
In making soaps and detergents.

Sodium Hydroxide:

Uses of Ammonia
Ammonia is important in
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Manufacture nitric acid which is made by the catalytic oxidation of ammonia over heated platinum Producing fertilizers to supply nitrogen that is essential for plant growth
Eg ammonium sulphate, ammonium nitrate, urea To reduce acidity of soil, better not to add calcium hydroxide to soil as it can cause the loss of nitrogen from nitrogenous fertilisers

Haber Process
Haber Process mass produces ammonia by passing nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas through iron catalyst Reversible reaction:

Exothermic reaction Increase in pressure will increase

the yield of ammonia because in forward reaction, less number of moles are formed o Rate of reaction because of more effective collisions so pressure is kept high at 200 ATM

N2 + 3H2 < ------ > 2NH3

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Raising temperature of the system will favor the backward reaction Lowering temperature will favor ammonia production However, at low temperature, the reaction will be very slow which is not economical, so temperature is kept optimum at 540oC

Concentration tells us how much of a substance is dissolved in 1dm3 of a solution. It can be changed by either adding more solute or more solvent.

Strength of acid/alkali
Strength refers to how easily an acid or alkali dissociates when dissolved in water. A strong acid like hydrochloric acid dissociates easily in water (almost 100% of the acid dissociates) A weak acid like ethanoic acid does not fully dissociate when dissolved in water. The strength of an acid cannot be changed. No matter how concentrated ethanoic acid is, it is still a weak acid. The strength of an acid of an alkali can be shown using the pH scale.

4 types of oxides
Acidic oxides Amphoteric oxides Oxides of non-metals Dissolve in water to give acids React with bases to give a salt and water Eg. carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, phosphorus(V) oxide

Oxides of metals react with both acids and alkalis to form salt and water Eg zinc oxide, aluminium oxide, lead(II) oxide Oxides of metals Some dissolve in water to give alkalis React with acids to give a salt and water Eg. ammonia, calcium oxide, sodium oxide, potassium oxide

Basic oxides Neutral oxides

Oxides of non-metals Do not react with acids or bases Eg carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, water

pH indicators
Indicators are substances that turn to different colors in acidic and alkali solutions The pH of a solution is a number that shows how acidic or alkaline a solution is
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A neutral solution like ethanol has a pH of 7 An acidic solution like HCl has a pH of 2 An alkaline solution like NaOH has a pH of 14

The lower the pH, the more acidic; the higher the pH, the more alkaline the substance is Farmers neutralize excess acidity in the soil by adding calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) to the soil

pH indicators

Indicator Litmus paper Universal Methyl orange Screened methyl orange Phenolphthalein

Color in acid red red red red colorless

Color in Alkali blue violet yellow green pink

A salt is obtained from an acid when the hydrogen ion of an acid is replaced by a metal or ammonium ion Solubility of salts
Soluble salts Oxides Carbonates Hydroxides Chlorides Group I metals, Ammonium All the rest Insoluble salts All the rest

Lead(II), Silver


All the rest

Barium, Calcium, Lead(II)

Preparation of Salts
1. Insoluble salts are prepared using the precipitation method

Mixing 2 soluble salts and obtain insoluble salt through filtration

2. Soluble salts are prepared using acid + excess metal/insoluble metal oxide/carbonate (if reacting with insoluble substance) or titration (acid + alkali reaction) 3. After getting the salt solution, saturate it and then let it crystallize to get the salt

Preparation of salts summary

Preparation of NaCl Titrate NaOH against HCl
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Pipette 25.0cm3 of HCl into a conical flask Add a few drops of indicator (phenolphthalein) Add NaOH dropwise to the conical flask until end point (when 1 drop of NaOH turns permanent pink) NaCl is stable to heat

Heat the resulting solution to dryness


Metal oxide/carbonates & Acids

Preparation of Copper(II) Sulphate To 25.0cm3 of sulphuric acid, add CaO or CaCO3 until it is in excess o Some excess solid will remain at the bottom Filter the mixture For the filtrate, warm the solution to half its solution o Concentration of solution increases After crystals form, wash with distilled water and dry it o Do not heat to dryness as copper sulphate is not stable to heating

Preparation of Barium Sulphate Mix two soluble salt to obtain the insoluble salt

Barium nitrate with sodium sulphate

Filter the mixture Wash the precipitate with distilled water Dry using filter paper

Identification of cations
Aqueous cation

Addition of dilute NaOH Few drops Excess White precipitate White precipitate White precipitate White precipitate Blue precipitate Precipitate dissolves Colorless solution Precipitate dissolves Colorless solution Precipitate dissolves Colorless solution Precipitate insoluble Precipitate insoluble

Addition of dilute NH3

Al3+ Pb2+ Zn2+ Ca2+ Cu3+ Fe2+ Fe3+

Few drops Excess White Precipitate insoluble precipitate

White precipitate White precipitate No reaction Blue precipitate White precipitate Precipitate dissolves Colorless solution No reaction Precipitate dissolves Precipitate insoluble Precipitate insoluble

Green precipitate
Brown precipitate

Precipitate insoluble
Precipitate insoluble

Green precipitate
Brown precipitate


Ammonia gas produced on warming No reaction with dilute NaOH. Gas has a pungent smell and turns damp red litmus blue

No reaction

Identification of cations
Aqueous Anion Test NO3CO32ClIAdd dilute NaOH and a little aluminium power Add dilute HCl Add dilute nitric acid and then silver nitrate Add dilute nitric acid and then lead(II) nitrate solution Add dilute nitric acid and then barium nitrate solution Observation Ammonia gas produced Effervescence occurs A white precipitate of silver chloride is formed A yellow precipitate of lead(II) iodide is formed A white precipitate of barium sulphate is formed