Acids and bases are very useful in our daily lives. Let’s start with acids. Without acids, we won’t have Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), your car won’t start (sulphuric acid in car batteries) or even accelerated rotting of your food (food preservative in the form of citric acid). Similarly, imagine a world without bases. Without bases, stubborn stains on your clothing won’t come off (sodium hypochlorite in bleach), you’ll have dirty mirrors (ammonium hydroxide used in glass cleaners) and even having bowel problems as laxatives can be made from magnesium hydroxide.
This post on Berry Berry Easy is Part 2 from the series of notes for SPM Chemistry Form 4 on Acids and Bases. You’ll learn all about the real-life applications of acids and bases which are relevant to SPM Chemistry. Important chapters in essays.
[Tips: For applications of acids and bases, try to memorise the trio combo of application-chemical name-chemical formula. It is good to learn all three to score absolute full marks when you try to desribe the usage of acids and bases. Of course, you must also desribe how they function and where can they be naturally found (if relevant).]
SPM Chemistry Form 4 Notes – Acids and Bases (Part 2)
The Uses of Acids in Our Daily Life
|Benzoic acid||Its salt are used to preserve food|
|Carbonic acid||To make carbonated drinks|
|Ethanoic acid||A main compound of vinegar|
|Hydrochloric acid||To clean metals before electroplating / household cleaning / leather processing / swimming pool maintenance|
|Nitric acid||Production of fertilisers, explosives, etching and dissolution of metals (purification and extraction of gold)|
|Sulphuric acid||To make detergent, polymer and fertilisers.|
|Tartaric acid||Manufacturing of soft drinks, provide tartness to food, as an emetic (a substance to induce vomiting)|
The Uses of Bases in Our Daily Life
|Ammonia||Production of fertilisers (ammonium and nitrate salts), used in the manufacture of nitric acid, neutralise the acid (in the petroleum industry) and prevent premature coagulation in natural / synthetic latex.|
|Aluminium hydroxide||Manufacture other aluminium compound and to make gastric medicine (antacid)|
|Calcium hydroxide||To make cement, limewater, neutralise the acidity of soil and application of sewage treatment.|
|Sodium hydroxide||Used in the manufacturing of soaps, detergents, and cleaners.|
|Magnesium hydroxide||Suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water are used as an antacid, used as an antiperspirant armpit deodorant and as a non-hazardous alkali to neutralise acidic wastewater.|
This marks the end of Part 2 of the notes for SPM Chemistry Form 4 on Acids and Bases from Berry Berry Easy. In the next part in the series, you’ll learn about the comparison of chemical properties of acid and base/alkali. So check back soon.