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Acids and bases

Bases and acids

Bases are substances that can react with acids and neutralise them. Bases such as metal oxides and metal hydroxides react with acids to form neutral products.

Examples of bases include:

  • copper(II) oxide
  • zinc hydroxide.

An alkali is a soluble base, a base that can dissolve in water. For example, copper(II) oxide is a base because it can neutralise acids but, because it does not dissolve in water, it is not an alkali.

Examples of alkalis include:

  • sodium hydroxide
  • potassium hydroxide.

All alkalis are bases.

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