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ChemWiki: The Dynamic Chemistry Hypertext > Core > Physical Chemistry > Acids and Bases > Acid/Base Basics > Arrhenius Concept of Acids and Bases

Arrhenius Concept of Acids and Bases

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The Arrhenius definition can be summarized as "Arrhenius acids form hydrogen ions in aqueous solution with Arrhenius bases forming hydroxide ions."


In 1884, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius proposed two specific classifications of compounds, termed acids and bases. When dissolved in an aqueous solution, certain ions were released into the solution. As defined by Arrhenius, acid-base reactions are characterized by acids, which dissociate in aqueous solution to form hydrogen ions (H+) and bases, which form hydroxide (OH) ions.

Acids are defined as a compound or element that releases hydrogen (H+) ions into the solution.


In this reaction nitric acid (HNO3) disassociates into hydrogen (H+) and nitrate (NO3-) ions when dissolved in water. 

Bases are defined as a compound or element that releases hydroxide (OH-) ions into the solution.


In this reaction lithium hydroxide (LiOH) dissociates into lithium (Li+) and hydroxide (OH-) ions when dissolved in water.

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Last modified
11:28, 21 Nov 2014



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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 1246120, 1525057, and 1413739.

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