Difference Between Strong Acid and Weak Acid (With Table)

Strong Acid vs Weak Acid

Everything in this world is somehow related to science or contains science in it, it can be anything, any form, or state like solid, liquid or gas. There are chemical reactions which cannot be seen with naked eyes.

There are different chemical substances which have their own characteristics. Sometimes two chemicals are mixed to get a third product, but the reactions are done by professionals only as they can lead to severe results as well.

There are several things that are being kept in mind before doing any chemical reaction, there are atoms and molecules in everything on this earth. And thus it is the molecule that matters the most in reactions.

For example water has two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen which makes it H2O. this is fundamental and cannot be changed, this formula cannot be changed like two molecules of oxygen and one molecule of hydrogen.

Likewise there are different aqueous solutions which need knowledge before use. For example acids, bases, neutrals,etc.. Before mixing any solution, it’s PH value needs to be checked. For example acids can harm severely, bases have low PH whereas neutrals have normal PH level.

The difference between strong acid and weak acid is their PH level and ionising capacity. Strong and weak acid both are acids but their PH levels are different and other characteristics too.


 

Comparison Table Between Strong Acid and Weak Acid

Parameters of ComparisonStrong AcidWeak Acid
conductivityGood conductorsBad conductors
ReactiveHighly reactiveLess reactive
PH value0 to 35 to below 7
EdibleNot edibleEdiblee (mostly)
Rate of reactionHighLow

 

What is Strong Acid?

Strong acids are acids which lose their protons with ease. They ionize in the aqueous solution by losing one proton. The strength of acid is determined by the first proton it ionizes.

To compare the strength of acid, their tendency to donate protons is checked with whatever base it is mixed. This strength is determined by the number pKA. Strong acids completely dissociate in water.

The H+ proton is the charged ion which is released by acid and if the number of H+ is more, then the acid is said to be strong. Since three charged particles of strong acids are released they become good conductors of electricity too.

Few strong acids are sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid (HCI), hydrobromic acid (HBr), hydroiodic acid (HI), perchloric acid (HCLO4)  nitric acid (HNO3), etc.. These acids release their protons more and dissociate in bases(mostly water).

Rate of reaction in strong acid is faster. They release ions more quickly and make the solution acidic. Strong acids have low PH value maybe around 0 or 1. It is advised that strong acids should not be used by households and should be kept out of children’s reach.

Strong acids can corrode metals easily. Some strong acids are used in daily life things as well for example the battery of car, it uses sulphuric acid (it generates electricity)sulfuric acid is caustic, muriatic acid which is another form of hydrochloric acid is used in water pools to to adjust the PH. 

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Even the human body contains the strong acid, which is the hydrochloric acid (HCI), it is present in the stomach probably helps in digestion, and it is present according to the gastric level of people.

When strong acids release protons in bases, in return they extract electrons from bases. In physical properties acids are sour, corrosive and harmful.strong acids make salt and water when mixed with any base. This process is also known as neutralisation. The neutralised product will be less acidic as compared to the reactant acid.

Strong Acid
 

What is Weak Acid?

Unlike strong acid, weak acids do not dissociate  completely in bases and thus they dissolve partially in the bases to make the neutralised product after the procedure of neutralisation.

Their capacity of gaining electrons and releasing protons is less.their acidic strength is low and thus their pKA is low. They are also conductors of electricity but their conductivity is extremely low. Their current passing process is slow when compared to strong acid.

In theory, the concentration of protons H+ is low making them less reactive. For example, oxalic acid (C2H2O4), acetic acid (CH3COOH), formic acid (HCOOH), benzoic acid (C6H5COOH), nitrous acid (HNO2), hydrofluoric acid (HF), etc..

Weak acids take time to react, they are slow. Their PH value is high ranging between 5 to below 7. They are less capable than the strong acids. They can even burn nostrils when smells and tastes sour.

Some of the weak acids are used in food and beverages like phosphoric acid  (used in soft drinks, baking powder, also acts as neutralizing agent,etc.), citric acid (used in ice cream, fruit drinks, dairy products,etc.), acetic acid (used as preservative, mayonnaise, baking products,etc.), etc..

Thus it is clear that weak acids are too weak and are edible for normal human beings. They are not corrosive and thus do not harm any person like in case of strong acids. Weak acids are even sometimes considered good for health as well when taken in limits. But can cause harm when the limit is exceeded or if someone is allergic to any specific acid, like lactic acid.

Weak Acid

Main Differences Between Strong Acid and Weak Acid

  • Strong acids react faster whereas weak acids take time to react with any base.
  • Strong acids are good conductors of electricity on contrary weak acids are not too good as conductors of electricity.
  • Strong acid passes electricity faster whereas weak acids are slow conductors.
  • Strong acids are not edible but weak acids are edible.
  • Strong acids have ph value ranging between 0 to 3 but the ph value of weak acids ranges between 5 to below 7.

 

Conclusion

Both strong and weak acids are different types of acids. There are differences in concentration of protons but the composition is somewhat the same in all acids. Both are required in daily needs, their purposes might differ.