What are Salts?

And how are they created?

Salts are compounds that result from an acid and base reaction. A compound? An acid and base reaction? What are all these things? Well, let's start by exploring compounds.

Compounds

Compounds are molecules that have at least two different elements. Some common examples of compounds are water (H2O), and table salt (NaCl). Water is made up of two atoms of the hydrogen element and one atom of the oxygen element. Table salt is made up of sodium (Na), and chlorine (Cl), and we call it Sodium chloride. Now, we've already mentioned one kind of salt. So, lets start exploring acids and bases.

Acids and Bases

Acids and bases are substances that cause a chemcal reaction when mixed together. This chemical reaction is also called neutralization. You can measure how acidic a substance is or how basic a substance is by the pH scale below. When acids and bases are mixed, the pH of the resulting mixture becomes neutral, which is why we call it neutralization. Some examples of acids include HCl, or hyrdrochloric acid, and H2SO4, or sulfuric acid. There are also more common acids such as citric acid and ascorbic acid. Bases include baking soda, ammonia, and Milk of Magnesia.

Creating Salts

When acids and bases are mixed, water and a solid substance (usually dissolved in the water) is always produced. The solid substance, by definition, is a salt. There are many types of salt and there are special ways of naming the salts. Although I won't go into the naming of the salts here, I can at least provide some types of salt.

Properties of Salts

Salts have some basic properties. Most are solid at room temperature and dissolve in water. Most are good conductors of electricity when dissolved, but not when solid. When solid, most salts are hard and brittle, which means they can break apart easily.

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