Do you know your formulas?
Acids and Alkalis Quiz - Examples and Formulas
Why do I need to know Formulas for Acids and Alkalis?
Remembering some basic formulas and examples of acids, alkalis and polyatomic ions will help you to understand the equations and make everything seem a bit less daunting. Polyatomic ions are ions that are made up of multiple atoms and they often appear in acids and alkalis. The most important ones to remember for GCSE are carbonate (CO32-), sulfate (SO42-), sulfite (SO32-), nitrate (NO3–), ammonium (NH4+) and hydroxide (OH–). These ions are especially useful to remember because they can explain what is happening in neutralisation reactions between acids and bases. Just take a look at the sulfate ion (SO42-) it is not a coincidence that sulfuric acid has the formula H2SO4. Sulfuric acid if formed by two positive hydrogen ions which have lost their electrons coming together with the sulfate ion.
Another example of why the polyatomic ions are useful to remember is the formulas for metal hydroxides which are bases. These have formulas that include the hydroxide ion. For instance, NaOH is the formula for sodium hydroxide and if you understand that it was formed when a sodium ion came together with a hydroxide ion, you can understand the following reaction:
NaOH(aq) → Na⁺(aq) + OH⁻(aq)
Overall, remembering the formulas for the basic polyatomic ions as well as for some common acids and alkalis can really help you along.
If you think you’re ready to move on, why not try our next quiz on Neutralisation Reactions?
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