Difference between Alkali and Base

Difference between Alkali and Base

Bases are any substance that reacts with an acid to neutralize them. They are soluble and insoluble bases; soluble bases dissolve in water while insoluble ones do not. Soluble bases are known as Alkali, while the other subset is called Arrhenius base. After forming OH-ions with water, the solution can be used as proton acceptors since they are Bronsted. While all alkali bases, not all bases are alkali.

When the alkali solution is added to an acid, it will increase its PH, whereas adding an acid to an alkali solution will decrease its PH since you are removing alkali.

Alkali Vs. Base

Alkali and base are similar since they both neutralize the acid. While alkali is s soluble base, not all bases dissolve in water. Alkali metals are a soft, shiny, and weightless. You can easily cut them with a knife.

Their metallic bonds are weak, a reason why cutting them is so effortless. On the other side, a base is anything that can neutralize an acid to form either a metal oxide or hydroxide. They are bitter and slippery when you touch them. They will produce a molecule together with water while reacting to acid.

What is an Alkali?

Alkali is a chemical substance that has an electron as the outer covering. If you wish to get rid of the electron on the outer layer, you can easily do so by ionization. The process requires less energy.

They have weak metallic bonds, which makes them soft. Therefore, you can easily cut them with a knife. They also have low boiling and melting points.

They are reactive metals. You will find them added to easily reactive solutions with the atmosphere. A good example is kerosene, which can react with oxygen to form colored flames. Its density is slightly lower when you compare it with other metals. They are good conductors of electricity and heat.

What is a Base?

A base is anything that neutralizes the acid. They are of two types; those that dissolve in water and those that don’t. The types that dissolve in water are called alkalis.

All bases are bitter when you taste them. Just like acids, there are h2 and weak bases. The h2 ones are very reactive and can burn your skin as they are reactive to the skin’s oils and are corrosive in nature. A good example of a h2 base is NaOH, and a weak base is NH3. All bases are bitter and slippery. The slippery effect is felt because of saponification.

They react with acids, and they form a salt molecule and water. They are also Arrhenius in that they will give out hydroxide ion to aqueous solutions. They can react with one another to form a stable covalent bond and form a compound that essentially drives reactions as water is removed from the equation.

Difference between Alkali and Base


A base is a chemical compound that neutralizes the acid. It will increase the hydroxide ions when added to water. An alkali is a subset of a base. When an alkalis is added to water, the solution is clear and transparent, which means that they are soluble in water. The solution can have a repellent smell, but this will depend on the amount of water in the solution and the PH value of the alkali.

Physical Characteristics

The physical and chemical appearance of alkali is the same. It has a low melting and boiling point, and it is soft due to weak metallic bonds. This makes it easy to cut alkali with a knife. They also have low density. For instance, when you put sodium lithium or potassium on water, they float.

Base, on the other side, is bitter when you taste it. They are odorless except for ammonia. They are slippery due to saponification and will react faster with oils and fats.


Alkali is used to soften hard water and remove impurities like organic tannins and fluorides. They neutralize the PH of the water. It is applied in sewage to maintain sledge and reduce its smell.

They are applied in industrial and mining operations where they are put in wastewater to enhance their visibility. The process will remove nitrogen and phosphorus. Sodium chloride is used in the kitchen to add flavor.

On the other side, Bases are used as gastric medicine, cleaners, detergents, and soaps. They use harmless alkali to neutralize acidic wastewater. They are further used in antiperspirant deodorant.


Bases are bitter in taste and have a slippery feel to them. They react with acid to form a salt molecule and water. Examples of common bases include ammonia, baking soda, and caustic soda. Alkali is a soft, shiny silver-like metal that has an electron as its outer layer. When you remove the electron through ionization, you will get a +1 cation.

Dissociation when mixed in water

When bases are mixed in water, they give out free hydroxide ions (OH-), whereas alkalis will react violently when mixed with water. This reaction produces hydrogen and a h2 alkaline solution.


Removing an electron from an alkali metal is violent and can be dangerous. Even so, the intriguing nature of the phenomenon makes the process worth undertaking. Alkalis and bases share a few similarities because alkalis are a subset of bases. But there are distinguishable factors between the two.

The main one is that all alkalis elements are from group one elements, whereas bases can be categorized as compounds and elements with distinctive characteristics.

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