16 Differences between Acid and Base (Acid vs Base)

Last Updated on May 24, 2020 by Sagar Aryal

Differences between Acid and Base

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Arrhenius conceptAn acid is a substance that produces hydrogen ion (H+) as the only positive ion when mixed with water.A base is a substance that produces hydroxyl ion (OH) as the only negative ion when mixed with water.
Bronsted-Lowry ConceptAn acid is a species that can release/donate a proton to another species.A base is a species that can accept a proton.
Lewis ConceptAn acid is a species that can accept an electron pair.A base is a species that can donate an electron pair.
StrengthThe strength of an acid is based on the concentration of hydrogen ions.The strength of a base is based on the concentration of hydroxyl ions.
Physical natureAcids are corrosive in nature.Bases are slippery in nature.
Physical stateAcids exist as solid, liquid, and gas-based on temperature.Bases usually exist in the solid-state except for ammonia which exists as a gas.
TasteAcids are sour in taste.Bases taste bitter.


Acids release hydrogen ions (H+) when dissolved in water.Bases release hydroxyl ions (OH) when dissolved in water.
Dissociation constantThe dissociation constant of a strong acid is -2.The dissociation constant of a strong base is 12.
pH valuepH value of acid is lower than that of water (7) with an acid of pH 1 being the strongest acid.pH value of base is higher than that of water and with base pH 14 being the strongest base.
Test with litmusAcids turn a blue litmus paper into the red.Bases turn a red litmus paper into the blue.
Test with phenolphthaleinPhenolphthalein turns colorless in acidic solutions.Phenolphthalein turns pink in basic solutions.
Test with methyl orangeMethyl orange turns red in color in acidic solutions.Methyl orange turns orange in color in basic solutions.
Test with universal indicatorIn the universal indicator, yellow and red color indicates acidic solutions.In the universal indicator, blue and violet color indicates basic solutions.
Reaction with metalAcids react with metals to give H2 gas.Bases don’t react with metals.
ExamplesHydrochloric acid (HCl), Sulphuric acid (H2SO4), Nitric acid (HNO3), Phosphoric acid (H3PO4), Oxalic acid (C2H2O4), Boric acid (H3BO3), Acetic acid (CH3COOH), carbonic acid, (H2CO3), Aluminium chloride (AlCl3), etc.Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), Potassium hydroxide (KOH), Calcium oxide (CaO), Magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), Ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH), Pyridine (C5H5N), Histidine (C6H9N3O2), Ammonia (NH3), etc.


  • Gautum SD, Pant M, and Adhikari NR (2016). Comprehensive Chemistry, Part 2. Sixth Edition. Heritage Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd.

Internet Sources

  • 5% – https://opentextbc.ca/chemistry/chapter/15-2-lewis-acids-and-bases/
  • 3% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenol_phthalein
  • 3% – https://brainly.com/question/2624790
  • 2% – https://www.microchemicals.com/products/etchants.html
  • 2% – https://quizlet.com/136496265/chapter-18-flash-cards/
  • 1% – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid%E2%80%93base_reaction
  • 1% – https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/General_Chemistry/Map%3A_A_Molecular_Approach_(Tro)/16%3A_Acids_and_Bases/16.04%3A_Acid_Strength_and_the_Acid_Dissociation_Constant_(Ka)
  • 1% – https://brainly.com/question/3458136
  • 1% – https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070919080405AAvP2Rr

Differences between Acid and Base

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