Identifying Acids,Bases and Salts
Home Up Dissolution Reactions Molecular Changes Identifying Acids,Bases and Salts Writing Ionic Equations


Identifying Acids, Bases and Salts

Once you have learned the concept of electrolytes dissociating in water to form ions and can write chemical equations for that process, the task of identifying acids, bases and salts is relatively easy.

Starting with the formula of an electrolyte, first identify the postive and negative ions that will be formed when the electrolyte dissolves in water. If the positive ion is H+ the compound is an acid. If the negative ion is OH- the compound is a base. If neither of the above is the case the compound is a salt. Note that this all depends on the compound being an electrolyte (either weak or strong).
Compound Ions Type
HX H+  X- acid
YOH Y+  OH- base
YX Y+  X- salt


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