The acidic or basic nature of baking soda’s pH is debatable.

It is also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda or sodium hydrogen carbonate. Salty and alkaline in flavour, it is a white crystalline material

nahcolite is a mineral that can be found in the water of springs in abundance.

This product can be made by reacting ammonia and carbon dioxide with sodium chloride in a cold and concentrated solution.

The response is spelled out as:

NaCl   +   CO2   +   H2O   +   NH3   —->    NaHCO3   +   NH4Cl

Baking soda’s chemical formula is NaHCO3. When it comes to ions, sodium (Na+) and bicarbonate (Ca2+) are the most common (HCO3-).

Which is more acidic or basic: Baking soda or lemon juice?

The most basic ingredient in baking is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3).

Sodium bicarbonate has an alkaline aqueous solution.

The sodium bicarbonate molecules dissolve in water and form sodium (Na+) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions. This is the explanation for the reaction. There is no additional dissociation of sodium ions.

Hydroxide ions and carbonic acid are formed as a result of the reaction between bicarbonate ions and water molecules.

In this case, the two-step reaction is:

There is a relationship between Na+ and HCO3- in the form of Na+ + HCO3

It is HCO3- + H2O —–> H2CO3 + H2O

The solution is alkaline because of the hydroxide ions in it.

As a result, carbonic acid is formed when the bicarbonate ion receives a proton. A base also has this characteristic.

NaHCO3 aqueous solution is hence alkaline.

There is a 4.8 X 10-11 Ka value in the solution, which indicates that it is alkaline in nature.

It’s alkaline since it’s baking soda.

Elements are what give a substance its characteristics. With regard to NaHCO3, we know that baking soda is created when one mole of NaOH interacts with one mole of carbonic acid (NaCl) (H2CO3).

The salt of a weak acid and a strong base can be described as such.

The following rules will help you determine which salts are basic and which are acidic:

pH = 7 is neutral for salts of strong acid and strong base.

There are a few salts of strong acids and weak bases, which have a pH of less than 7.

Weak acid and strong base salts are alkaline (pH greater than 7) in nature.

As previously mentioned, sodium hydroxide and carbonic acid’s salt, NaHCO3, is a strong base and a weak acid. In this way, NaHCO3 becomes alkaline, with a pH greater than 7.

What causes NaHCO3 to turn basic in water?

Na+ and HCO3- are formed when neutral water and sodium bicarbonate molecules dissolved in water react with each other and dissociate to generate ions.

It is possible to convert NaHCO3 (aq) to sodium + hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-).

As the weak conjugate acid of a strong basic, i.e. NaOH, sodium ions (Na+) here do not further react.

HCO3- is the strong conjugate base of a weak acid (H2CO3), therefore it reacts further to form (OH-) and carbonic acid (H2CO3) (H2CO3).

The response is spelled out as:

Water + Carbonate —–> H2CO3 + OH-

Arrhenius considered compounds that contribute hydroxide ions in a solution bases according to the idea of acids and bases.

Following the breakdown of bicarbonate ions, hydroxide ions (OH-) are released and are responsible for the solution’s alkalinity.

Bronsted-Lowry hypothesis of acids and bases states that compounds which receive protons from other molecules are known as bases.

Carbonic acid is formed when water molecules donate protons to bicarbonate ions (HCO3-).

This means that sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline chemical.

Is Amphoteric Baking Soda Safe?

Yes, baking soda is an amphoteric chemical..

Amphoteric chemicals are ones that can be used as both an acid and a base at the same time.

Bronsted-Lowry theory of acids and bases states that acids contribute a proton, whereas bases absorb a proton, and this is in accordance with the theory

Acids and bases form hydronium ions (H3O+) in an aqueous solution according to Arrhenius’ theory of acids and bases (OH-).

NaHCO3 is an amphoteric chemical because it may react with water both as an acid and as a base by contributing a proton and taking one back in exchange.

Hydronium ion (H3O+) and hydroxide ion (OH-) are formed based on the pH of the water, which might vary from source to source.

Baking soda functions as a base in this reaction equation:

After adding NaHCO3 to H2O, you get Na+ + H2CO3 + OH-

Here is a breakdown of the chemical reaction that makes baking soda acidic:

When NaHCO3 is combined with water, the reaction produces sodium ions, carbon dioxide trioxide trioxide, and water trioxide trioxide.

Because NaHCO3 accepts a proton in the first equation, it is acting as an acid (H3O+) in the second equation, which means it is acting as a base (OH-) in the first equation.

baking soda’s amphoteric properties are utilised to enhance its use as a laundry detergent and cleaner for fish tanks, swimming pools, etc. where it functions by balancing acidity.

Vs. Baking Soda

It’s easy to confuse baking soda and baking powder because both are white powders. Baked goods can also benefit from the use of both as a leavening agent.

The chemistry of these two molecules, however, reveals that they are very different from one another.

To begin its reaction, baking soda, a basic leavening agent, needs the presence of an acid and water.

This reaction produces CO2, which aids in the rising of baked foods.

It is a complete leavening agent because it contains both an acid and a base (NaHCO3), which react with water to make baked goods rise in the oven.

To prevent acid and base from reacting while it is kept in storage, it also contains cornstarch.

Baking powder’s active components are activated when combined with moist dough, releasing CO2 and allowing the baked goods to rise.

First, there is a double-acting baking powder that reacts twice in a row, once when it is added to the liquid at room temperature and again when it reaches a certain temperature, and then there is a single-acting baking powder in which only a single reaction occurs after the mixture reaches a certain temperature.

The acidity or baseness of baking powder is debatable.

Compounding baking soda with a dry acid like sodium aluminium sulphate or cream of tartar coupled with a buffer that prevents the compound from reacting prematurely before its intended usage is what constitutes baking powder.

Double-acting baking powder is made up of two acids, monocalcium phosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminium sulphate, both of which react when they come into contact with water.

Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate, a strong alkaline and a mildly acidic component. This gives baking powder a somewhat acidic pH level. –

pH indicators, which turn red litmus paper blue, can also be used to verify this.

Baking Soda’s acidity

The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is determined by its pH.

Using the pH scale, a neutral solution is defined as one that is neither acidic nor basic. It’s the water’s pH.

An acidic or basic solution has a pH of less than 7 and an acidic solution has a pH greater than 7.

As we’ve already discussed, baking soda has an alkaline property and a pH of greater than 7.

Baking soda has a pH of 8.4 despite some books stating that it has a pH of 8.5 or even 9.

For the sake of clarity, we can state that NaHCO3 has a pH between 8 and 9.


The monoclinic crystalline structure of baking soda makes it non-flammable powder. Mild non-corrosive and non-explosive powder is used in this product.

The following is a list of some of the many qualities of baking soda:

Molecular Mass84.0066 g/mol
IUPAC NameSodium Hydrogen Carbonate
Chemical FormulaNaHCO3
AppearanceWhite powder
Density2.20 g/cm3
Boiling Point851 °C
Melting Point50 °C
Refractive index1.583
pHBetween 8 and 9
pKa 6.3


Various uses for baking soda can be found in a wide range of areas of daily life. Sodium bicarbonate has a variety of applications, some of which are given below:

A leavening agent, it is used in baking.

For killing cockroaches and inhibiting fungal growth, it is used as a pesticide.

Swimming pools, in particular, employ it as a disinfectant.

• Laundry detergents employ it as a whitening ingredient.

Chemotherapy side effects can be minimised by using this substance.

• It is an antacid.

Because of its antibacterial characteristics, it is commonly used in kitchens.

As a garbage disposal odour remover, it is also utilised in the refrigerator.

As a deodorizer, it can be found in many household products.

As a mouth and teeth cleanser, it can be used.

• It’s a polisher for silverware.

• It’s a fire extinguisher, of course.

• It’s found in a variety of personal care and cosmetics items.


By taking in a proton from the aqueous solution, sodium bicarbonate behaves as an acid.

OH- ions are released when NaHCO3 reacts with water molecules that are not polarised.

This amphoteric chemical can be used as either an acid or base.

As a leavening agent, baking soda can be used, but baking powder is a full leavening agent.

• NaHCO3 and a dry acid make up baking powder. Alkalinity is there, but it’s not overwhelming.

• The pH of NaHCO3 ranges from 8 to 9.

Read more: The question is whether BrF3 is either Polar or Nonpolar.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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