Acids And Bases Essay

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Part A: Background Information
Acids and bases are very common in today’s society, and they can be found in most households. Acids can be found as by-products of air pollution, concrete cleaner, food flavouring and is produced by the muscle. Bases are found in most cleaning products as ammonia or sodium hydroxide, and they also treat indigestion.
There are many ways that acids and bases can be defined by their chemical properties. The Bronsted-Lowry definition states that acids are proton (hydrogen ion that loses its electron) donors and bases are proton acceptors. For example, hydrochloric acid would donate its hydrogen atom to water to become hydronium, HCl + H2O → H3O+ + Cl-. The Arrhenius definition claims that acids produce positive hydrogen
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There are four main stages of manufacturing in the industrial process of sulfuric acid: extraction of sulfur, conversion of sulfur to sulfur dioxide, conversion or sulfur dioxide to sulfur trioxide, conversion of sulfur trioxide to sulfuric acid. First, sulfur is obtained from mines. Once extracted, it is then burned in air to produce sulfur dioxide, S(s) + O2(g) → SO2(g). Next, the sulfur dioxide is heated and subjected to high pressure to produce sulfur trioxide, 2SO2(g) + O2(g) → SO3(g). This is due to the fact that sulfur trioxide’s equilibrium yield increases when temperatures are low, however, the rate of reaction increases when the temperatures are high. This is because of Le Chatelier’s Principle, which states “if an equilibrium system is subjected to a change, the system will adjust itself to partially oppose the effect of change”. This problem is resolved with the use of a vanadium (v) oxide catalyst, which allows the low temperatures and a faster reaction rate. Water then reacts with sulfur trioxide to create sulfuric acid, however, the reaction is uncontrollable and creates a fog of sulfuric acid. So, the sulfur trioxide is dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid, H2SO4 + SO3 → H2S2O7 (fuming sulfuric acid). This can then be safely reacted with water to make sulfuric acid, H2S2O7 + H2O → H2SO4. This is called ‘the Contact Process’ (BBC Bitesize,

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