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What is the importance of acids and bases?

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Quick Answer

Acids are used in industries to manufacture fertilizers, paints, dyes and man-made fibers, while bases are used in the production of fabrics, cleaning agents and paper. In nutrition, diluted acids are used to dress salads and vegetables, giving food a distinctive taste. For example, vinegar contains 3 percent acetic acid. Citrus fruits have citric acid. Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, and wine has tartaric acid.

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What is the importance of acids and bases?
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Full Answer

Acids are present in the stomachs of humans to help with the digestion of food. The absence of acids in the proper levels may cause indigestion and bloating. However, too much acid is dangerous, as it may corrode the stomach lining. However, antacids manufactured from bases can be used to neutralize the excess acid.

Bases have a bitter taste and are not recommended for human consumption. However, some substances containing nitrogen-rich bases such as caffeine and nicotine are frequently used by humans. In addition, tonic water draws its bitter taste from the alkaloid quinine. Bases are used in cleaning detergents for their characteristic slippery nature. Sodium hydroxide in lye effectively dissolves protein and grease and is commonly used in cleaning products and lotions.

In the ocean, a balanced water pH level is essential for supporting the lives of animals and plants.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do acids and bases differ?

    A:

    Acids and bases differ in that acids release free hydrogen ions when they are dissolved in water. Bases accept those hydrogen ions and form acid salts.

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  • Q:

    What characterizes a strong acid or base?

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    Strong acids and bases are characterized by the way their constituent molecules are both fully ionized in a solution. Only a small number of acids and bases break down into nothing but their constituent ions when dissolved in water. Most of the seven strong acids, and eight strong bases, have some use in industrial applications.

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  • Q:

    What is a base in chemistry?

    A:

    According to Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D of About: Chemistry, bases are the chemical opposite of acids. Bases react with acids to form salts and water.

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  • Q:

    What is sodium acid pyrophosphate?

    A:

    Sodium acid pyrosphosphate is a water-soluble chemical used in the food industry to prevent rapid changes in the acidity of a solution when other acids or bases are added. Also known as disodium pyrophosphate, it is used to enhance the ionic bonding capabilities of a molecule in a preferred direction.

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