Acids and bases are an integral part of chemistry. The fact that acids and bases neutralize each other to form salts in chemical reactions is common knowledge. Acids are very useful industrially in the preparation of various chemicals. However, the uses of bases aren’t highlighted as much when compared to the wide range of applications that acids have. For example, bases are an important prerequisite for the Cannizzaro reaction. Sodium hydroxide, a commonly used base in chemistry, is also extremely useful in the manufacture of soap. Here are a few more uses of bases in the everyday lives of human beings.

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Sodium Hydroxide is an important base which is used in the production of soap as discussed earlier. But this base is also used in the synthesis of paper. The synthetic fiber called rayon requires the use of sodium hydroxide in its manufacturing process as well.

In the manufacturing of bleaching powder (a strong disinfectant which can be used to disinfect water) requires the use of calcium hydroxide, commonly referred to as slaked lime. The base calcium hydroxide is also invaluable to factories and power plants for its ability to clean the sulfur dioxide created from the exhaust of industrial processes. Calcium hydroxide is a great example of a Diacidic base which produces two hydroxide ions upon its complete ionization. Many d block elements also form such Diacidic bases, examples including zinc hydroxide, iron(II) hydroxide, and copper(II) hydroxide.

Many antacids which are used to combat excess acidity in the human stomach and to cure indigestion generally contain magnesium hydroxide. Therefore, bases also find uses in medicine as cures for common human ailments caused by acids in our body.

Greasy stains that are formed on clothes cannot be removed by washing with soaps. To combat these greasy stains, ammonium hydroxide can be used.

Thus, bases are extremely useful in the day to day lives of human beings. To learn more about acids and bases, visit: