Introduction to Acids

Acidity is a characteristic property of acids. Acidic substances are usually very sour. Acids have a sour taste. Citric acid is what makes the sour taste of lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits, while acetic acid gives vinegar its sour taste. Apart from hydrochloric acid, there are many other types of acids around us. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges contain citric and ascorbic acids while tamarind paste contains tartaric acid.

In fact, the word ‘acid’ and ‘acidity’ are derived from the Latin word ‘acidus’ which means sour. If you dip a blue litmus paper into an acid, it will turn red while a red litmus paper will not change colour. Acids also liberate dihydrogen when they react with some metals.

You have used various acids in the laboratory experiments also. Following are some acids that are often used in the laboratory.


When considering the formula of the above acids it is clear that hydrogen (H) is a component element in all those acids.

What is an acid?

An acid is a compound that releases hydrogen ions (H+) in an aqueous medium. Hydrochloric acid ionises as follows in the aqueous medium and releases H+ ions.

Based on the strength of releasing H+ ions in the aqueous medium, acids are classified as strong acids and weak acids.


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