# What does the neutralisation of acids and bases mean?

From what I found in textbooks and google is that neutralisation is when acids and bases react to produce salt and water. Most examples I have learnt do so, however a reaction like:

$$\ce{NH3 + HCl -> NH4Cl }$$

It does not produce water.

So is neutralisation defined as only when salt and water produce a neutral salt and water or is it just produce any salt and water. And if it is any then how can does the example above work?

• Neutralisation is when something acidic plus something basic produces something more or less neutral. Water may be a part of the picture, or it may not; this is irrelevant. – Ivan Neretin Mar 22 '18 at 10:41

## 1 Answer

There are many theories put forward to explain acid-base reaction. According to Arrhenius acid-base theory. All acid liberate protons (H+ ions) when dissolved in water. All bases liberate Hydroxyl ions (OH- ions) in water. When the reaction takes place H+ and OH- combine to form water, and the remainder of the ions (what are left after liberating H+ and OH- ions) form what is called a salt. In such reactions, Water is always formed.

What you have shown is an example of a Bronsted acid-base reaction. Bronsted acids are proton donors (have ionisable hydrogen ion). Bronsted bases have the capability to accept them (either via hydroxyl ion liberation or by their lone-pair as in NH3)

Clearly, the formation of water is not a necessity in a Bronsted acid-base reaction.