O-Level Chemistry Video: Strength versus Basicity of Acids


We can find acids everywhere around us. They are in the air, in water, in fruits and even in humans and animals.

To study acids in more details, chemists would need to classify them in order to know them better.

Strength of Acids and Basicity of Acids are two very common but important ways to classify all the acids in this world. It is very important to know them well so that you are not confused by their close similarity.

Many of our students who join my weekly Sec 3 and Sec 4 GCE O-Level Pure Chemistry Tuition Classes (including IP, IB and IGCSE students) always commented that they are very confused with these two concepts when they first heard it from their secondary school teachers. Their keywords are all messed up and when it comes to Chemistry Exams, they tend to get zero or very low marks for this section on acids. So do beware!

Let’s take a look at the video …..

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Length of video: 9.90 mins

Direct link: https://youtu.be/yRAlktHInxs

Let’s re-cap what you have learned in the video…….

First, it is very important to know the formal definition of acids. Acids are substances which dissociates (or ionises) in water to produce hydrogen, H+ ions.

  • Strength of Acids

The term strength of an acid refers to how easily an acid dissociates (or ionises) when dissolved in water. We can explain the strength of acids in terms of their extent of dissociation (or ionisation).

Strong Acid: An acid that dissociates completely in water to produce a high concentration of hydrogen, H+ ions.

e.g. HCl(aq)  H+(aq) + Cl (aq)

Take note of the  used in the dissociation equation for strong acids.

Weak Acid: An acid that dissociates partially in water to produce a low concentration of hydrogen, H+ ions.

e.g. CH3COOH(aq)  CH3COO(aq) + H+(aq)

Take note of the  used in the dissociation equation for weak acids.

  • Basicity of Acids

The term basicity of acid refers to the number of moles of H+ ions that are being dissociated per mole of an acid.

Monobasic Acid: 1 mole of H+ ions are dissociated per mole of acid.

e.g. HCl(aq)  H+(aq) + C(aq)

Dibasic Acid: 2 moles of H+ ions are dissociated per mole of acid.

e.g. H2SO4(aq)  2H+(aq) + SO42-(aq)

I hope you find the content easy for your understanding and if you have any questions, leave me a comment below.

Feel free to share this video with your friends who needs help in mastering Chemistry.

PS: You can do a search on the top right hand corner for more discussions and questions on “Acids and Bases” or select from the suggested blog posts under “Related Articles” below.

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Many people talked about teaching Chemistry, I simply LOVE it. I am a passionate Chemistry Coach based in Singapore, Southeast-Asia and aspire to be one of the most dynamic, powerful and humorous speakers in Asia. My 18+ years of coaching experience has equipped me to understand the true reasons why students are not able to perform well in Chemistry, and allow me to structure my teaching methodology to cater to different levels of learners. If you have found this post useful, please share it with your friends. I would really appreciate it! Sean Chua

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