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How Does an Alkali Form?

A base or alkali accepts hydrogen ions, and when added to water, it soaks up the hydrogen ions formed by the dissociation of water so that the balance shifts in favor of the hydroxyl ion concentration, making the solution alkaline or basic. An example of a common base is sodium hydroxide, or lye, used in making soap.

How Does an Alkali Form?

An alkali is a substance that is composed of an ionic salt, or simply a salt, which is composed of a metal cation and a hydroxide anion. Alkalis are commonly used in industrial applications as they are a strong base and can neutralize acids. In this article, we will discuss how an alkali forms.

The reaction of a metal hydroxide with an acid is what produces an alkali. When an acid and a base are combined, they create a salt and water. This is known as neutralization. The salt created by the reaction is what forms the alkali. The process of neutralization is reversible, meaning that the acid and base can be separated and the salt can be re-formed.

The metal cation that is part of the salt must be compatible with the hydroxide anion. This compatibility is determined by the electrostatic forces that exist between the two. If the two ions are not compatible, the reaction will not occur and the alkali will not form. The metal cations that are commonly used in alkali formation include sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

The reaction of acids and bases to form alkalis is also known as neutralization.

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