FEB 04, 2017 10:27 AM PST

Fantastic Bases and Where to Find Them

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

We typically hear about the corrosive powers of strong acids, but did you know that strong bases can burn and be just as destructive?

Chemically speaking, bases are defined as substances that produce hydroxide ions (OH-) when dissolved in water. On the pH scale, bases range from 7.1 to 14, with higher scores meaning stronger bases. Common bases include seawater (pH 8), baking soda (pH 9.5), all the way to liquid drain cleaner (pH 14).

Just as acids can be stronger than the pH scale, so can bases. The title of strongest base in the world belongs to ortho-diethynylbenzene dianion. This superbase has the strongest proton affinity ever calculated (1843 kJ mol−1), beating out a long-standing contender known as lithium monoxide anion.

Watch the video to learn more about bases and superbases!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
OCT 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 20, 2019
The Hard Life of a Polar Bear Cub
The Arctic is an unforgiving land of ice and snow, and at first glance, it seems like a desolate place to be. But a small subset of animals, including gray...
OCT 20, 2019
Earth & The Environment
OCT 20, 2019
17 Countries Face "Extremely High" Water Stress
Seventeen countries, which are home to 25% of the world’s population, are at risk of extremely high water stress. This information comes from the Wor...
OCT 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 20, 2019
Watch a Baby Kangaroo Take its First Hops
When Kangaroos are first born, the bones and muscles in their legs aren’t strong enough for them to stand on their own. This is why baby kangaroos re...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
3D Printing Could Be the Answer for Habitats on Mars
Deep space missions, such as those to the Moon and Mars, are in our future. NASA, SpaceX, and other top-tier entities in the business of space exploration...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
The Moon is Shrinking, and Here's Why
When the Moon was conceived during the formation of the solar system, it was comprised of incredibly hot material. Years’ worth of space rock impacts...
OCT 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 20, 2019
Imagine a World Without Insects...
People tend to dislike insects, especially ant, beetle, cockroach, and mosquito varieties, but before suggesting that a world without insects would be a wo...
Loading Comments...