A month back, @CowperKettle had asked this at The Periodic Table chat room:
Now I've come across the term "alkaline" on numerous occasions, and pretty much all examples that I know of (in Chemistry) actually do involve the presence of an alkali (often NaOH or KOH).
Wikipedia defines an alkali as:
In chemistry, an alkali is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal.
Further, it states:
An alkali also can be defined as a base that dissolves in water.
Now when something is a "base", it could mean a lot of things (An Arrhenius base? A Lewis base? A Bronstedt base?), which doesn't really make the Wikipedia definition any clearer.
Take for example, this case:
...mucosal cells of the small intestine secrete bicarbonate ions into the intestinal lumen to render it alkaline...
I know that was from a "Biology perspective", but that raises the following questions:
1) Is there a universally accepted (I guess that would be IUPAC) definition for an alkali? (Since the Wikipedia definition seems a bit oversimplified)
2) Is it "acceptable" to refer to, say, as suspension of a (Lewis) base in water as "alkaline"? And what about that excerpt from my Bio. text book? Is that use of "alkaline" acceptable as well?