16. Ions and Equilibrium;
       Acids and Bases
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If a strong acid is added to a strong base, the product of hydrogen and hydroxide ion concentrations will be high at first. Some of these ions will recombine to form water until the product of [H+] and [OH-] is again brought down to 10-14 mole2 liter-2 . This is the process of neutralization:

You can see from this that the neutralization of an acid and a base really involves only the H+ and OH- ions, and that other ions, Na+ and Cl- ions in this case play only a passive role.

One mole of an acid that liberates one H+ per molecule, or one mole of a base that produces one OH- per molecule, are said to possess one equivalent of neutralizing power. For H2SO4, which can release two protons per molecule, one mole of acid produces two acid-base equivalents. When an acid and a base have exactly neutralized one another, the number of equivalents of acid and base must be the same, no matter what the concentrations of the individual solutions.


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