Acid salt
Acid salt is a somewhat obscure term for a class of salts formed by the partial neutralization of diprotic or polyprotic acids. Because the parent acid is only partially neutralized, one or more replaceable hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 atoms remain. Typical acid salts have one or more alkali (alkaline) metal
Alkali metal
The alkali metals are a series of chemical elements in the periodic table. In the modern IUPAC nomenclature, the alkali metals comprise the group 1 elements, along with hydrogen. The alkali metals are lithium , sodium , potassium , rubidium , caesium , and francium...

 ions as well as one or more hydrogen atoms. Well known examples are sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula Na HCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda . The natural mineral form is...

 (NaHCO3), sodium hydrosulfide
Sodium hydrosulfide
Sodium hydrosulfide is the chemical compound with the formula NaHS. This compound is the product of the half neutralization of hydrogen sulfide with sodium hydroxide. NaHS is a useful reagent for the synthesis of organic and inorganic sulfur compounds. It is a colorless solid that typically smells...

 (NaHS), sodium bisulfate
Sodium bisulfate
Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium hydrogen sulfate , is an acid salt. It is a dry granular product that can be safely shipped and stored. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic. Solutions of sodium bisulfate are acidic, with a 1M solution having a pH of Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium...

 (NaHSO4), monosodium phosphate
Monosodium phosphate
Monosodium phosphate , also known as anhydrous monobasic sodium phosphate is a chemical compound of sodium with a phosphate counterion. It is used as a laxative and, in combination with other sodium phosphates, as a pH buffer....

 (NaH2PO4), and disodium phosphate
Disodium phosphate
Disodium hydrogen phosphate is a sodium salt of phosphoric acid. It is a white powder that is highly hygroscopic and water soluble. It is therefore used commercially as an anti-caking additive in powdered products. It is also known as disodium hydrogen orthophosphate, sodium hydrogen phosphate...

 (Na2HPO4). Often acid salts are used as buffer
Buffer solution
A buffer solution is an aqueous solution consisting of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base or a weak base and its conjugate acid. It has the property that the pH of the solution changes very little when a small amount of strong acid or base is added to it. Buffer solutions are used as a...


For example, the acid salt sodium bisulfate
Sodium bisulfate
Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium hydrogen sulfate , is an acid salt. It is a dry granular product that can be safely shipped and stored. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic. Solutions of sodium bisulfate are acidic, with a 1M solution having a pH of Sodium bisulfate, also known as sodium...

 is the main species formed upon the half neutralization of sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the molecular formula . Its historical name is oil of vitriol. Pure sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid. The salts of sulfuric acid are called sulfates...

 with sodium hydroxide:
H2SO4 + NaOH → NaHSO4 + H2O

Acid salts compounds can act either as an acid or a base
Base (chemistry)
For the term in genetics, see base A base in chemistry is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions or more generally, donate electron pairs. A soluble base is referred to as an alkali if it contains and releases hydroxide ions quantitatively...

: addition of a suitably strong acid will protonate
In chemistry, protonation is the addition of a proton to an atom, molecule, or ion. Some classic examples include*the protonation of water by sulfuric acid:*the protonation of isobutene in the formation of a carbocation:2C=CH2 + HBF4 → 3C+ + BF4−*the protonation of ammonia in the...

 anions, and addition of a suitably strong base will split off H+
Deprotonation is the removal of a proton from a molecule, forming the conjugate base.The relative ability of a molecule to give up a proton is measured by its pKa value. A low pKa value indicates that the compound is acidic and will easily give up its proton to a base...

. The pH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 of a solution of an acid salt will depend on the relevant equilibrium constants and the amounts of any additional base or acid. A comparison between the Kb and Ka will indicate this: if Kb > Ka, the solution will be basic, whereas if Kb < Ka, the solution will be acidic.

Use in food

Some acid salts are used in baking. They are found in baking powders and are typically divided into low-temperature (or single-acting) and high-temperature (or double-acting) acid salts. Common low-temperature acid salts react at room temperature to produce a leavening effect. They include cream of tartar, calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate
Calcium phosphate is the name given to a family of minerals containing calcium ions together with orthophosphates , metaphosphates or pyrophosphates and occasionally hydrogen or hydroxide ions ....

, and citrate
A citrate can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid, , or to the esters of citric acid. An example of the former, a salt is trisodium citrate; an ester is triethyl citrate.-Other citric acid ions:...

s. High-temperature acid salts produce a leavening effect during baking and are usually aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 salts such as calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 aluminium phosphate
Aluminium phosphate
Aluminium phosphate is a chemical compound. It is used in cake mixes and in some baking powders as a leavening agent to help baked goods rise. Medicinally it is used as adsorbent for toxoid.-Uses:...

. Some acid salts may also be found in non-dairy coffee creamers
Non-dairy creamer
Non-dairy creamers are liquid or granular substances intended to substitute for milk or cream as an additive to coffee or other beverages. They do not contain lactose and therefore are commonly described as not being dairy products...

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