alkali

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n alkali any of various water-soluble compounds capable of turning litmus blue and reacting with an acid to form a salt and water "bases include oxides and hydroxides of metals and ammonia"
    • n alkali a mixture of soluble salts found in arid soils and some bodies of water; detrimental to agriculture
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Alkali (Chem) One of a class of caustic bases, such as soda, potash, ammonia, and lithia, whose distinguishing peculiarities are solubility in alcohol and water, uniting with oils and fats to form soap, neutralizing and forming salts with acids, turning to brown several vegetable yellows, and changing reddened litmus to blue.
    • Alkali Soda ash; caustic soda, caustic potash, etc.
    • Alkali Soluble mineral matter, other than common salt, contained in soils of natural waters.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n alkali Originally, the soluble part of the ashes of plants, especially of seaweed; soda-ash.
    • n alkali The plant saltwort, Salsola kali. Also called kali.
    • n alkali Now, any one of various substances which have the following properties in common: solubility in water; the power of neutralizing acids and forming salts with them; the property of combining with fats to form soaps; corrosive action on animal and vegetable tissue; the property of changing the tint of many vegetable coloring matters, as of litmus reddened by an acid to blue, or turmeric from yellow to brown. In its restricted and common sense the term is applied only to the hydrates of potassium, sodium, lithium, cæsium, rubidium, and ammonium. In a more general sense it is applied to the hydrates of metals of the alkaline earths, barium, strontium, calcium, and magnesium, and to a large number of organic substances, both natural and artificial, described under alkaloid. Alkalis unite with saponifiable oils to form soap.
    • n alkali Sometimes spelled alcali.
    • n alkali This term, used in the commercial sense, includes the carbonates of sodium and potassium, formerly called mild alkalis, and the hydroxide of the same metals, the caustic alkalis. The alkali industry is one of great importance, especially the manufacture of soda, both carbonate and caustic. It is carried on mainly by three methods: the Leblanc process, the Solvay or ammonia process, and the electrolytic process. In the last of these, of recent introduction, a solution of common salt is decomposed by an electric current. The Solvay process is not practically applicable to the production of potash; it is at present the principal source of soda.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Alkali al′ka-li (chem.) a substance which combines with an acid and neutralises it, forming a salt. Potash, soda, and lime are alkalies; they have an acrid taste (that of soap), and turn vegetable blues to green
    • n Alkali al′ka-li or -lī, (chem.) a substance which combines with an acid and neutralises it, forming a salt. Potash, soda, and lime are alkalies; they have an acrid taste (that of soap), and turn vegetable blues to green
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. alcali, ultimately fr. Ar. alqalī, ashes of the plant saltwort, fr. qalay, to roast in a pan, fry
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ar. al-qalīy, ashes.

Usage

In literature:

Its importance is due to its zinc, lead, iron, alkali and kindred works, and its collieries.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2" by Various
All about Thaine were men with faces grimy as his own; their lips, like his, split and purple from the alkali dust.
"Winning the Wilderness" by Margaret Hill McCarter
Here and there alkali whitens the edges of stained hollows where water lies awhile after spring cloudbursts.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
Solution of fixed alkali supersaturated with carbonic acid.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
Alkalies (e. g., ammonia).
"The Elements of Bacteriological Technique" by John William Henry Eyre
The alkali lakes of Nebraska are believed to be of very recent geologic origin.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith
The best remedy, naturally, is an alkali of some sort.
"The Home Medical Library, Volume I (of VI)" by Various
It appears to have been composed of one of the principal alkalies, either potash or soda.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
The spot is surrounded by a white alkali desert, covered in places with salt and alkali deposits.
"Sword and Pen" by John Algernon Owens
If an alkali (lime) is the offending substance, neutralize by a weak vinegar solution.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
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In poetry:

Poetry!--just look round you,--alkali, rock, and sage;
Sage-brush, rock, and alkali; ain't it a pretty page!
Sun in the east at mornin', sun in the west at night,
And the shadow of this 'yer station the on'y thing moves in sight.
"Cicely" by Francis Bret Harte

In news:

Reliable pH Measurement in the Chlor- Alkali Process.
Dependable pH determination in chlor- alkali brine is notoriously difficult.
Oregon's plans for Alkali Lake herbicide dump raise concerns.
File Photo Oregon buried 25,000 barrels of hazardous waste at the Alkali Lake site about four decades ago.
In the late 1890s, "Alkali" Al Thornburg, a horse trader from East L.A.
Strand breaks and alkali-labile bonds induced by ultraviolet.
Saltic picks Hanwha for chlor -alkali and EDC complex in Oman.
Everybody used soap, knew what soap was… everybody knew it was made of fat, with a little bit of alkali mixed together and that was it, soap.
Swedish chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele distinguished baryta (a barium alkali) from lime in 1774, but the pure element was discovered by British chemist Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808.
Jif's version: sugar, vegetable oils (rapeseed and palm), hazelnuts , cocoa processed with alkali, skim milk, whey powder, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor.
The upcoming phases of the highway widening have spurred concerns about alkali bee survival, which in turn spells worry for alfalfa farmers.
Masterchem Industries has introduced KILZ Masonry and Stucco Primer, an alkali-resistant primer that can be used on recently poured masonry and stucco surfaces.
I might have mentioned before that my day job is actually writing a weekly column for ICIS Chemical Business magazine, and one of my market coverages involves chlor-alkali (the production of chlorine and caustic soda).
Sulfates are stable in base at high pH values and, if ethoxylated to a relatively high level, produce low foaming alkali soluble surfactants.
TARGETED This Olin chlor-alkali plant in Georgia is one of four mercury-cell facilities whose production methods could become illegal.
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In science:

This process is of particular interest as in many experiments (like those of refs.[272, 273, 360, 187] involving alkali atoms) molecules are formed in high lying vibrational levels, in the presence of surrounding cold atoms.
Formation and interactions of cold and ultracold molecules: new challenges for interdisciplinary physics
Despite its simplicity for alkali trimers, a full quantum dynamical treatment of the process, including inelastic and reactive channels, is required.
Formation and interactions of cold and ultracold molecules: new challenges for interdisciplinary physics
Indeed, as no barrier is found in the relevant potential surfaces, an atom can be exchanged with the molecule (insertion mechanism) in the course of the collision involving indistinguishable alkali atoms.
Formation and interactions of cold and ultracold molecules: new challenges for interdisciplinary physics
Even more desired by experimentalists are predictions concerning the interaction between a pair of ultracold alkali dimers. A full quantum mechanical study using a multidimensional potential surface is out of reach of the present computing resources.
Formation and interactions of cold and ultracold molecules: new challenges for interdisciplinary physics
The authors showed that the reaction RbCs+RbCs→ Rb2+Cs2 is barrierless, just like in the case of alkali atom-molecule collisions.
Formation and interactions of cold and ultracold molecules: new challenges for interdisciplinary physics
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