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What do you understand by an alkali? Give two examples of strong alkalis.

Last updated date: 22nd Jul 2024
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Hint: Bases have a sour flavour and a slick feel. The term "alkali" refers to a base that can be dissolved in water. Salts are formed when these compounds react chemically with acids. It's common for bases to turn red litmus blue.

Complete answer:
An alkali is a basic ionic salt of an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal in chemistry. A base that dissolves in water is also known as an alkali. The pH of a soluble base solution is greater than 7.0. Alkalis are both Arrhenius bases, meaning they dissolve in water and produce hydroxide ions (OH⁻). Outside of the realms of chemistry and chemical engineering, the words "base" and "alkali" are often interchanged.
In English, the adjectives alkaline and alkalescent are frequently used as synonyms for simple, particularly for bases soluble in water. Since alkalis were the first bases known to follow the Arrhenius meaning of a base, and they are now among the most popular bases, this wide usage of the word is likely to have arisen.
Examples of strong alkalies:
NaOH – Sodium Hydroxide
The inorganic compound sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, has the formula NaOH. It's a white ionic complex made up of sodium cations Na⁺ and hydroxide anions OH⁻.
Sodium hydroxide is a caustic base and alkali that decomposes proteins at room temperature and can result in serious chemical burns. It is highly water soluble and easily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
KOH - Potassium hydroxide
Potassium hydroxide, also known as caustic potash, is an inorganic compound with the formula KOH. KOH is a prototypical solid base, along with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). It has a wide range of industrial and specialty uses, the majority of which take advantage of its caustic nature and acid reactivity. In 2005, between 700,000 and 800,000 tonnes were produced. KOH is a key ingredient in most soft and liquid soaps, as well as a variety of potassium-based chemicals. It's a corrosive white solid with a high toxicity.

Acids and bases are seen as chemical polar opposites because acids increase the concentration of hydronium in water, while bases decrease it. Neutralization is a reaction that occurs between aqueous solutions of an acid and a base, resulting in a solution of water and a salt in which the salt splits into its constituent ions. Some extra salt solute precipitates out of the solution once the aqueous solution is saturated with it.