What is neutralization?

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In the field of chemistry, neutralization is a process that produces salt and water out of combining and acidic substance with a basic substance.  Acids and bases have opposite pH levels.  Substances, solutions, or compounds that have a pH of 1 to 6 are classified as acids.  Those with pH levels of 8 to 14 are base substances.  When these opposite substances are combined, they will basically react with each other and undergo neutralization with the salt and water being formed afterwards.

Substances and chemicals are known to have different levels of reactivity.  This is mainly due to the fact that chemicals also have different properties like compositions and pH levels.  In terms of pH levels, chemicals that have a pH of 1 are considered the strongest acids.  Substances with a pH of 14 meanwhile are considered the strongest basic substances.  When these two opposite substances are combined, they will react with each other and is expected to undergo neutralization with the resulting solution having a pH of around 7.  In the neutralization process, strong acids will also try to displace the weaker bases and this will result to the formation of water and sugar at the end.  Acids typically contain hydrogen atoms and bases also contain oxygen in them and when these two combine, water is formed.

A classic example of neutralization is the combination of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.  The sodium content of sodium hydroxide is one of many highly-reactive substances and it immediately displaces the hydrogen atoms of hydrochloric acid.  With hydrogen combining with oxygen to form water, salt will also be created by the neutralization process in the form of sodium chloride.  The resulting substances after neutralization will have varying pH levels depending on which acids and bases are combined.  Sometimes the result of neutralization is slightly more acidic or more basic.

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