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What is a Salt?

Sodium chloride is the correct chemical name of the salt you put on chips, but are you aware that there are lots of different salts? Students will explore the many types of salt in this worksheet.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:  Reactions of Acids with Alkalis

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

The salt that you put on your chips has the chemical name sodium chloride. This, however, is only one example of the many different salts in chemistry.

 

 

 

A salt (not to be confused with assault!) is the product of a neutralisation reaction between an acid and a base. A base is a substance that neutralises an acid. Examples of bases include alkalis, metal oxides etc.

When an acid is neutralised, the metal ion from the base (in red below) combines with the negative ion from the acid (in blue below) to form a salt.

 

For example:

sodium hydroxide + hydrochloric acid sodium chloride + water

calcium oxide + nitric acid calcium nitrate + water

magnesium + sulfuric acid magnesium sulfate + water

 

The three equations shown above give examples of the salts produced from the three main acids: hydrochloric, sulfuric and nitric. These acids are the most commonly used in the science lab, which makes it important to learn their names and the salts produced by their reactions:

 

hydrochloric acid (HCl) - produces chloride salts 

sulfuric acid (H2SO4) - produces sulfate salts

nitric acid (HNO3) - produces nitrate salts

Which of following terms can be applied to a substance that neutralises an acid?

acid

base

salt

water

What is the correct chemical name of the main chemical found in table salt?

sodium chloride

calcium chloride

magnesium chloride

potassium chloride

Identify each of the chemicals listed below as being a salt or a base.

 Salt Base
Sodium hydroxide
Magnesium chloride
Sodium sulfate
Calcium oxide
Calcium nitrate

Listed below are several salts. Identify the acid that can be used to produce each salt.

 Hydrochloric acid Sulfuric acid Nitric acid
Magnesium sulfate
Sodium nitrate
Calcium sulfate
Calcium nitrate
Potassium chloride

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

________________   ________ + sodium oxide sodium chloride + water

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

 

sulfuric acid +  potassium hydroxide _________________  _________ + water

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

 

nitric acid +  magnesium oxide  calcium nitrate + _________

Match the formula to the correct acid using the letters A, B and C:

 

A = HCl

B = HNO3

C = H2SO4

Column A

Column B

A
hydrochloric acid
B
sulfuric acid
C
nitric acid

What happens when an acid is neutralised?

The metal ion from the base combines with the positive ion from the acid, to form a salt.

The metal ion from the base combines with the negative ion from the acid, to form a salt.

  • Question 1

Which of following terms can be applied to a substance that neutralises an acid?

CORRECT ANSWER
base
EDDIE SAYS
A base is the term for a substance that neutralises an acid such as an alkali or a metal oxide.
  • Question 2

What is the correct chemical name of the main chemical found in table salt?

CORRECT ANSWER
sodium chloride
EDDIE SAYS
Sodium chloride is the main component of table salt.
  • Question 3

Identify each of the chemicals listed below as being a salt or a base.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Salt Base
Sodium hydroxide
Magnesium chloride
Sodium sulfate
Calcium oxide
Calcium nitrate
EDDIE SAYS
Compounds that end in -chloride, -nitrate, -sulfate are salts. Metal oxides and metal hydroxides are bases because they neutralise acids.
  • Question 4

Listed below are several salts. Identify the acid that can be used to produce each salt.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Hydrochloric acid Sulfuric acid Nitric acid
Magnesium sulfate
Sodium nitrate
Calcium sulfate
Calcium nitrate
Potassium chloride
EDDIE SAYS
The clue is in the name:-
Sulfate salts are produced from sulfuric acid.
Chloride salts are produced from hydrochloric acid.
Nitrate salts are produced from nitric acid.
  • Question 5

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

________________   ________ + sodium oxide sodium chloride + water

CORRECT ANSWER
hydrochloric acid
EDDIE SAYS
Word equations are used often in science. They look complicated but they simply list the reactants and products of a chemical reaction.
  • Question 6

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

 

sulfuric acid +  potassium hydroxide _________________  _________ + water

CORRECT ANSWER
potassium sulfate
EDDIE SAYS
The metal from the base combines with the acid to form the salt. So here, the sulfuric acid combines with the potassium to form potassium sulfate.
  • Question 7

Complete the following equation by typing the name of the missing compound into the text box below:

 

nitric acid +  magnesium oxide  calcium nitrate + _________

CORRECT ANSWER
water
EDDIE SAYS
Don't forget the water! It isn't spoken about in most reactions and can be easily forgotten, but water is always produced during a reaction such as this.
  • Question 8

Match the formula to the correct acid using the letters A, B and C:

 

A = HCl

B = HNO3

C = H2SO4

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

A
hydrochloric acid
B
nitric acid
C
sulfuric acid
EDDIE SAYS
It is important to learn the formula of these three acids as you will come across them a lot in science.
  • Question 9

What happens when an acid is neutralised?

CORRECT ANSWER
The metal ion from the base combines with the negative ion from the acid, to form a salt.
EDDIE SAYS
When an acid is neutralised, the metal ion from the base combines with the negative ion from the acid, to form a salt.
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