Formulas of Common Acids and Bases

Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrochloric Acid reacting with potassium. Clive Streeter / Getty Images

Acids and bases are used in many chemical reactions. They are responsible for most color change reaction and are used to adjust pH of chemical solutions. Here are the names and formulas of some of the common acids and bases.

Formulas of Binary Acids

A binary compound consists of two elements. Binary acids have the prefix hydro in front of the full name of the nonmetallic element. They have the ending -ic.

Examples include hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid.

Hydrofluoric Acid - HF
Hydrochloric Acid - HCl
Hydrobromic Acid - HBr
Hydroiodic Acid - HI
Hydrosulfuric Acid - H2S

Formulas of Ternary Acids

Ternary acids commonly contain hydrogen, a nonmetal, and oxygen. The name of the most common form of the acid consists of the nonmetal root name with the -ic ending. The acid containing one less oxygen atom than the most common form is designated by the -ous ending. An acid containing one less oxygen atom than the -ous acid has the prefix hypo- and the -ous ending. The acid containing one more oxygen than the most common acid has the per- prefix and the -ic ending.

Nitric Acid - HNO3
Nitrous Acid - HNO2
Hypochlorous Acid - HClO
Chlorous Acid - HClO2
Chloric Acid - HClO3
Perchloric Acid - HClO4
Sulfuric Acid - H2SO4
Sulfurous Acid - H2SO3
Phosphoric Acid - H3PO4
Phosphorous Acid - H3PO3
Carbonic Acid - H2CO3
Acetic Acid - HC2H3O2
Oxalic Acid - H2C2O4
Boric Acid - H3BO3
Silicic Acid - H2SiO3

Formulas of Common Bases

Sodium Hydroxide - NaOH
Potassium Hydroxide - KOH
Ammonium Hydroxide - NH4OH
Calcium Hydroxide - Ca(OH)2
Magnesium Hydroxide - Mg(OH)2
Barium Hydroxide - Ba(OH)2
Aluminum Hydroxide - Al(OH)3
Ferrous Hydroxide or Iron (II) Hydroxide - Fe(OH)2
Ferric Hydroxide or Iron (III) Hydroxide - Fe(OH)3
Zinc Hydroxide - Zn(OH)2
Lithium Hydroxide - LiOH

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Formulas of Common Acids and Bases." ThoughtCo, Nov. 30, 2017, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, November 30). Formulas of Common Acids and Bases. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Formulas of Common Acids and Bases." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 21, 2018).