When a solution of acid and base is mixed, both of them neutralize each other and a third substance is formed called salt and this phenomenon is known as neutralization or neutralization reaction. The solution formed due to the mixing of a solution of acid and base is neither acidic nor basic in nature. Such solution is called neutral solution.
Salt formed due to neutralization reaction may be acidic or basic in nature. Acidic or Basic nature of the salt depends on the potency of acid and base. Heat is evolved in the neutralization reaction. Reactions in which heat is evolved are called as exothermic reactions. Thus, neutralization reaction is an exothermic reaction.
Example: Hydrochloric acid is an acid and Sodium hydroxide is a base. When a solution of sodium hydroxide is mixed with the hydrochloric acid solution, both neutralize each other and Sodium chloride (common salt) is formed. The reaction mixture becomes hot, as it is an exothermic reaction. The reaction involved in this can be represented as follows:
Sodium chloride is the chemical name of common salt which is used in general.
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Neutralization Reaction in Everyday Life:
Uses of neutralization reaction in everyday life:
Indigestion : Hydrochloric acid released in our stomach helps in the digestion of food and to kills bacteria, if any, present in food. Sometimes our stomach release more hydrochloric acid than required. Production of more hydrochloric acid in the stomach reveals as indigestion. This situation can be painful and causes pain in the stomach.
To get rid of such symptoms, a medicine made of the milk of magnesia (a base) is taken orally. Milk of magnesia, being a base neutralizes the hydrochloric acid and gives relief from pain because of indigestion.
Ant sting : Bee sting or Ant sting contains methanoic acid. Methanoic acid is also called formic acid. Ant or bee inject formic acid into our skin while biting. Due to injection of acid by ant or bee causes pain at the place of bite.
Rubbing baking soda over the place of bite gives relief from pain. Baking soda, which is a base, neutralizes the effect of formic acid injected by bees or ants. Another base, such as zinc carbonate (Calamite solution) is also used in the case of bee or ant stings.
Soil Treatment : Due to excessive use of fertilizers or the wrong method of harvesting, the soil becomes acidic or basic. The acidic or basic nature of soil affects the yield as plants do not grow properly on such soil.
Acidic soil is neutralized with slaked lime or quick-lime. Slaked lime (Calcium hydroxide) and quicklime (Calcium oxide) are used as bases.
The basic soil is neutralized with organic matter. Organic matter release acid and neutralizes the basic nature of the soil.
Factory Waste : Generally, wastes of the factories are acidic. If acidic wastes are flushed into rivers, the acid present in them pollutes the water and kills the aquatic organisms. Thus, factory wastes are treated with basic substances to treat the acid present in them before being flushed in the river.
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