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Sodium bicarbonate and Acid Neutralization time

  1. Mar 29, 2017 #1
    If let's say a person accidentally has acid spilled in his hands, if he sprays or reaches for baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) to neutralize the acd, how fast is the reaction? is it enough to avoid any skin damage? Are these part of any First Aid kit? Just curious about this.

    I read:

    "The reaction between baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, and hydrochloric acid is a double displacement reaction. The reactants combine to form sodium chloride, water and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide forms bubbles that cause the mixture to overflow a flask if too much baking soda is added at once. Eventually, as more baking soda mixes with the acid, the bubbles stop forming as the acid reaches the neutral state and is no longer able to provide the hydrogen molecules needed to break down the sodium bicarbonate."
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can think of the neutralization reaction as if it was instant - no reaction really is, but when they take microseconds they for most practical purposes can be treated this way.

    The limiting factor here is the mixing speed, not the reaction itself.
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