Neutralization Occurs When Acids React With Bases  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

neutralization occurs when acids react with bases. The proposed hypothesis has been proved with the help of an experiment. The steps of scientific method have been followed to collect evidence, perform experiment, accept or reject the hypothesis and draw conclusion. This study also highlights the phenomena of neutralization and some of the qualities of acids and bases.

Does Neutralization Occur When Acids React With Bases?

Through this research I am to prove that whenever an acid reacts with base a reaction takes place between them and this reaction results in the production of salt water and carbon dioxide. This reaction is known as neutralization and the products formed in this reaction are neither basic nor acidic but they are basic.

My pupose for performing this research and experiment is to answer the question that does neutralization occurs when an acid reacts with a base. And if yes what are resulting components of this reaction.


It is a common observation that when a bee stings a person we generally apply vinegar on the wound, this is because when a bee stings a person it injects alkali (base) into the body and vinegar is a weak acid, therefore, it is applied to the wound so that it can neutralize the effect of the alkali. Another common example is that whenever a person suffers from acidity he or she takes an antacid (alkali/base) in order to subdue the acidity. Another common observation can be made in the gardens as when the soil becomes acidic we usually add limestone, which is a base, to it so that it can neutralize the soil. All these observations lead towards the phenomena that neutralization always occurs when an acid reacts with a base. The occurrence of neutralization is independent of the strength and pH level of acids and bases.


On the basis of our previous observations, including that of a bee sting, acidity and soil, the hypothesis for this study is that: "Neutralization reaction occurs between acids and Alkalis." This hypothesis is deduced by considering the day-to-day examples of acid base reaction. An experiment and further research are required to prove that whether the proposed hypothesis is true or false. The hypothesis will be accepted only if the result of the experimentation is in its support whereas; we will reject the hypothesis and make corrections in it if the experimentation will stand against it.


Experimentation is or can be used to check any hypothesis. It is also used to test existing theories. Experiments are used to test the hypothesis so that they can be accepted or rejected. The range of experiment varies according to the goal that is to be achieved by it. Experiments can be carried on a small scale such as in school labs, homes etc. And at large scale as well such as those carried out in scientific institutions.

The experiment designed to test the proposed hypothesis is named as "baking soda and vinegar volcano." It is an experiment in which fake volcanic eruption has been instigated by combining baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate and vinegar (acetic acid). As both these substances react they produce carbon dioxide which forms bubbles in the detergent. Baking soda is an amphoteric compound which means it has both acidic and alkaline properties. It acts as an acid when it reacts with a base and as a base when it reacts with an acid. In this experiment it will be reacting as a base. All the chemicals used in this experiment are nontoxic and easily available. The different types of variables used in this experiment are as follows;


Controlled variables: The controlled variables are temperature, pressure and air.

Independent Variables: volumes of acid (vinegar) and base (baking soda).

Dependent Variable: Acidity is considered to be the dependent variable.


Following elements were required to perform the experiment. Listed below are the elements with their corresponding quantities. (Helmenstine)

1. Flour 3 cups

2. Salt 1 cup

3. Water 1 cup

4. Cooking oil 2 tablespoons

5. 20 Oz drink bottle 1

6. Deep plate or pan 1

7. Gel food coloring As per requirement

8. Vinegar As per requirement

9. Baking soda As per requirement


The eruption can be caused even without making the dough but the dough is a necessary part of the model and gives it an appropriate shape. Following is the procedure to make the dough;

Take a bowl and mix together flour (three cups), water (one cup), salt (one cup) and cooking oil (two tablespoons).

You can either knead the dough with your hands or can use a spoon to do so. Keep on kneading it until it is smooth.

In order to give your dough the color of a volcano you can add gel food coloring to it. (Helmenstine)


After the kneading the dough the next step would include making a volcano from the dough. Listed below are the steps that must be followed for making a volcano.

Fill the empty drink bottle (do not fill it completely leave a little space) with hot water.

Add a bit of washing detergent and two tablespoons of baking soda in it. You can also add some gel food coloring in it, if required.

Now place this bottle in the center of the deep pan or plate that you have got.

Now take the dough and press it around the bottle to give it the shape of a volcano.

While pressing the dough you must be very careful as the opening or the mouth of the bottle should not be plastered in any case.

You can pour a bit food coloring outside the volcano do that when the lava erupts it might take the color of a volcanic eruption or real lava and it may look original. (Helmenstine)



When you are ready to let the volcano erupt, pour some vinegar in the drink bottle which already has water, washing powder and baking soda in it.

You can make the volcano erupt again by adding baking soda in it and in order to trigger more reaction you can add more vinegar.

Now you would realize you would need a deep pan as due to eruption you would require a deep surface area to accommodate lave.

If you are performing this experiment in your house you can easily clean the mess with soapy water and a cloth. It will not be difficult to clean up the food color as well. (Helmenstine)

We will accept the proposed hypothesis that neutralization takes place when an acid reacts with a base. The eruption of the volcano that is the fake eruption is caused because of the neutralization reaction that takes place between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid). This reaction can be illustrated clearly by the following word equation:

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) + vinegar (acetic aci) carbon dioxide + water +sodium ion + acetate ion This equation shows that this is an exceptional case of neutralization as some other substances like carbon dioxide and sodium and acetate ions have also been formed. A balanced chemical equation can also be used to demonstrate this reaction:


As vinegar, that is the acetic acid, reacts with baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate and reacting as base here, neutralization occurs. During this process, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is being neutralized. As a result of this reaction, carbon dioxide (CO2) is also being produced. The major reason behind the fizzing and formation of bubbles during the eruption is carbon dioxide. As it is one of the basic characteristics of carbon dioxide that it produces bubbles in water. Thus, on the basis of all the evidences, that we gained through this experimentation, the proposed hypothesis that is, neutralization occurs when acids react…

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