Neutralization Reaction

Definition - What does Neutralization Reaction mean?

A neutralization reaction is a chemical reaction where an acid and a base are combined with the intent of producing a neutral pH level. The byproducts of a neutralization reaction are water and a form of salt, and the reaction is exothermic.

Neutralization may be used to reduce the risk of corrosion.

Corrosionpedia explains Neutralization Reaction

A neutralization reaction can occur naturally as a biological process such as in normal pH balancing, or it can be induced purposefully for a variety of applications. For instance, antacids are tablets that have a basic pH level; they are given to people with heartburn to help neutralize the stomach acids causing the affliction. Toothpaste combined with acidic food is another example of a neutralization reaction. The high pH toothpaste neutralizes the low pH food residue that causes tooth decay.

Neutralization reactions are also commonly used in industry as well. When soil is acidic, plant growth is stymied or, if it is acidic enough, stopped altogether. One way to remedy this is to neutralize the soil with a limestone fertilizer. Limestone is basic and counteracts the acidity of the soil. Conversely, soil that is too basic can be treated with acids to create a soil pH level favorable for plant growth.

An example of a common neutralization reaction is:

HBr + KOH → KBr + H20

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