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What is an alkali?

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An alkali is a basic ionic compound of an alkali earth metal or alkali metal element. Alkalies are most noted for their ability to neutralize or balance acidity. An alkali solution turns a red litmus paper blue. Caustic soda is a good example of an alkali.

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Alkalies are known for being basic compounds that dissolve in water. They have a pH greater than 7. They turn phenolphthalein indicator from colorless to pink. Alkali solutions are soapy or slippery to touch. Due to their caustic properties, they cause severe burns or corrosion when concentrated. When an alkali solution mixes with an acid, there is always a formation of a salt.

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