Science, Tech, Math › Science Neutralization Definition in Chemistry What You Need to Know About Neutralization Reactions Share Flipboard Email Print Mixing an acid and a base to produce a neutral solution is neutralization. Steve McAlister, Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated August 05, 2018 A neutralization reaction is a chemical reaction between an acid and a base which produces a more neutral solution (closer to a pH of 7). The final pH depends on the strength of the acid and base in the reaction. At the end of a neutralization reaction in water, no excess hydrogen or hydroxide ions remain. Neutralization Examples The classic example of a neutralization is the reaction between an acid and a base to yield a salt and water: acid + base → salt + water For example: HCl + NaOH → NaCl + H2O The right arrow indicates the reaction completes to form the product. While the classic example is valid, a more general expression based on Bronsted-Lowry acid-base theory is: AH + B → A + BH For example: HSO4- + OH- → SO42- + H2O is also an example of a neutralization reaction. Strong vs Weak Acids and Bases While strong acids and strong bases completely dissociate, weak acids and bases only partially dissociate to form an equilibrium mixture. The neutralization remains incomplete. Thus, the right arrow is replaced by arrows pointing both toward products and reactants. An example of a neutralization with a weak acid and base would be: AH + B ⇌ A- + BH+ Source Steven S. Zumdahl (2009). Chemical Principles (6th ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 319–324.