« PreviousContinue »
teristics of an acid or an alkali. The interaction by which this compound has been produced is represented in an equation
NaOHAq+HNO,Aq = Na NOAq+H,0.
NaOH is an alkali, HNO, an acid, and Na NO, a salt. 136 When an alkali reacts with an acid to form a salt, the acid
is said to be neutralised by the alkali, and the alkali to be neutralised by the acid. The salt does not exhibit the properties of either acid or alkali.
The following equations represent interactions of alkalis and acids with production of salts :
HCIAq+ NaOHAq = NaClAq+H.O.
HČIO, Aq + RbOHAq = RbCIO, Aq + H,O.
of the alkali. 137 But we have already learned that all basic oxides are not alkali-forming
Let'us consider the interaction between a basic, but non-alkaline, oxide and an acid. The oxide of iron whose composition is expressed by the formula Fe , (Fe = 56) ' is a basic oxide. This oxide is insoluble in water, but it dissolves in solutions of various acids, and on evaporating these solutions salts are obtained : thus,
Fe,O2 + 3H, SO Aq = Fe 380,Aq + 3H,0.
Salts then are produced by the interactions between basic 138 oxides and aqueous solutions of acids. Salts are also generally produced when metals interact with aqueous solutions of acids. We have had examples of these reactions before (par. 124). The following may be added ;
Other products Metal Solution of acid
of reaction Iron Sulphuric
Iron nitrate Water and ni. 2Fe+8HNO Aq=Fe 6NO Aq+44.0+2NO tric oxide Iron Hydrochloric
Iron chloride Hydrogen
Sodium nitrite Hydrogen
Sodium oxalate Hydrogen
Ba + 2HC10, Aq = Ba2C10, Aq + 2H
Copper nitrate Water and ni-
Zinc nitrate Water, and
according to temperature and concentration of acid used. The relation between the composition of the salt and the acid which interacted with a metal to produce the salt may in each case be expressed by saying that the hydrogen in one or more reacting weights of the acid has been replaced by the metal; in many reactions the displaced hydrogen is obtained, but in some cases further chemical change occurs, and water and compounds formed of the elements formerly combined in the acid are produced.
Sometimes the whole of the hydrogen combined with other elements to form a reacting weight of an acid is not displaced by metal when a salt is produced ; thus
(1) KOHAq+H SO, Aq=KHSO Aq+H.O.
Nevertheless each of the compounds in the third column (KHSO, &c.) is called a salt.
So far as composition goes we may at present regard à salt as à compound of a metal with the elements of an acid except the whole or a part of the hydrogen of that acid; as regards mode of formation we may say, that a salt is one of the products of the interaction between an acid (in solution) and a metal, a basic oxide, or an alkali.
The meaning of the term salt then evidently includes the meanings of the terms acid, metal, basic oxide, and alkali ; and any one of these terms can be understood only by considering the meanings of them all.
We already know the general characteristics of those elements which are called metals; we also know that most basic oxides are oxides of metals; and that alkalis are produced by the interaction of certain basic oxides with water.
The meaning given above to the term salt implies that an acid is a compound of hydrogen. But all compounds of hydrogen are not acids. The characteristic of those compounds of hydrogen which are acids is that when they interact with metals, basic oxides, or alkalis, they exchange the whole or a part of their hydrogen for metal, and thereby form a salt, or salts. Alkalis also are compounds of hydrogen with oxygen and a metal. The composition of a reacting weight of the alkalis is represented by the formula MOH; where M=Li, Na, K, Rb, or Cs. These elements, Li, &c. are the most positive of all the elements.
If the composition of acids is compared with the properties of the element or elements which combine with hydrogen to produce these acids, it is found that the non-hydrogenous constituents of acids, as a rule, are distinctly negative elements. This is shewn by comparing the compositions of the following well known acids with the arrangement of elements in electrical order given in par. 131.
HNO3, H SOX, HCN, H,C,O., HClO3, H,PO,, HI, HCI, HF, H,siF, H,B,0,, H Sið,
But the relations between the compositions and properties of acids, alkalis, and salts cannot be properly elucidated until a later stage.
The term base is frequently used to include basic oxides, alkaline hydroxides, and alkalis; as thus used it indicates a compound which interacts with an acid to produce a salt and water.
Looking back for a moment we see that in attempting 141 to classify oxides we have been led to classify very many elements. We have divided these elements into electropositive and electro-negative. With the characters expressed by each of these terms we have connected several other physical, and some chemical, characteristics.
The electro-positive elements, as a class, are metallic; their oxides are basic; the oxides of the more electro-positive elements interact with water to form compounds of the composition MOH which are alkalis. Many of these elements decompose water, or steam, with production of hydrogen and a metallic oxide.
The electro-negative elements, as a class, are non-metallic ; their oxides are generally acidic, that is they interact with water to produce acids. Some of these elements decompose steam with production of oxygen and a non-metallic hydride.*
* For a fuller treatment of the subject of acids and salts s. Chap. XI.
BEFORE proceeding further with the examination of the properties of classes of elements and compounds with the view of tracing connexions between changes of composition and changes of properties we must acquaint ourselves with the system of nomenclature used in chemistry.
Many names of elements, and such names of classes of compounds as oxides, hydrides, &c. have been incidentally employed
A name is given to each element. Sometimes the name expresses a characteristic chemical or physical property of the element; e.g. oxygen=acid-producer, hydrogen=water-producer, bromine, because of its powerful and obnoxious smell (Bpwuos), iodine, because of the violet colour of its vapour (iwons), chromium, because of its many-coloured compounds (xowua). Sometimes the name is that which was used by the ancients or is a modification of this name; e.g. arsenic (åpgevukov), copper (cuprum). Sometimes the name is derived from the name used by the alchemists, many of which were derived from the names of the planets; e.g. mercury. The names of many recently discovered elements are derived from the names of the minerals from which they were first obtained, or from the names of the districts, or in some cases countries, in which these minerals were found; thus strontium (from the mineral strontianite found near the village of Strontian in Argyleshire), beryllium (from the mineral beryll), ytterbrium, yttrium, erbium (from Ytterby the district in Sweden where the minerals were found from which the three elements were obtained), gallium, germanium (the former was discovered by a French, the latter by a German, chemist).
Some names are purely fanciful; e.g. tellurium, selenion, uranium, vanadium, (from tellus = the earth, oelnun = the