Properties of Bases

  • Bases are bitter to taste
  • All Bases have hydroxyl ions in them
  • Bases are soapy to touch
  • All oxides are metals of Bases
  • All Hydroxides of metals are bases
Alkalis - All bases which are soluble in water are called Alkalis

Properties of Alkalis

  • All alkalis have bitter taste
  • All alkali solutions have a slippery touch much like that of soap.
  • We commonly say that alkalis have got a soapy touch.
  • The alkalis, on coming contact with skin produce very painful blisters. Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide are extremely corrosive in nature and should not be touched with bare hands.

Uses of Bases

Caustic soda and Caustic Potash
  • They are extensively used in the manufacture of soap and soap powders from vegetable oils.
  • They are used in paper industry for preparing paper pulp from wood
  • They are used for making artificial fibres such as rayon, Nylon, etc.
  • They are used in the manufacture of medicines
Calcium oxide and Calcium Hydroxide
  • They are used for neutralization of acidity of acidic soils
  • Calcium Hydroxide suspension is used for white washing. A clear solution of calcium hydroxide is limewater. It is used for testing CO2 gas.
  • Calcium Hydroxide is used for making mortar, which is used in construction of buildings
  • Ca(OH)2 is used for removing hair from animal skins
  • Ca(OH)2 is used for preparing bleaching powder
Magnesium Hydroxide and Aluminium Hydroxide
  • They are used as antacids for relieving acidity in stomach. It is sold as milk of Magnesia in the market
Ammonium Hydroxide
  • Used in the manufacture of fertilizers
  • Used in manufacture of nitric acid
  • Used in manufacture of synthetic fibres
  • Used for preparation of washing soda
  • Used in the preparation of organic chemical.


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