M6-S4 Neutralisation in Life and Industry

Neutralisation in Everyday Life and Industrial Processes

Neutralisation in Agriculture

  • pH of soil in which plants are grown upon requires a specific range, otherwise it would negatively impact plant growth.
  • If the soil is too acidic, powdered lime (CaO) or limestone (CaCO3) are added to the soil to neutralise the H+ions and increase the pH.
  • If the soil is too basic, rotting vegetables or leaves can be added. This is because the compost decomposes to release carbon dioxide gas which is acidic in nature.


Neutralisation in Industries

  • Burning of fossil fuel releases sulfur dioxide (SO2) which is acidic in nature. To prevent air pollution and onset of acid rain, lime and limestone are used to neutralise the gas.


Neutralisation in Medicine

  • Antacid tablets e.g. Al(OH)3 and Mg(OH)2 are used to treat gastric patients by neutralising the excessive acid (HCl) in their stomach.
  • Vinegar is a common remedy for wasp and jelly fish stings because they are alkaline in nature.


Neutralisation at Home

  • Baking powder contains sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3), also known as bicarbonate of soda, and a weak acid. When water is added to a mixture of baking soda, the chemical reaction between the weak acid and hydrogen carbonate is stimulated. This produces carbon dioxide which causes the cake to rise.
  • Toothpastes are alkaline which help prevent decaying food particles (acidic) in our teeth and subsequent tooth decay.