Potassium hydroxide is an not natural compound with the chemical formula KOH. It is a white solid largely offered for production soft soaps. It is likewise known as caustic potash or Lye. It have the right to reason significant irritation to the skin and also other tproblem. 

In this short article, we will discuss Is Potassium hydroxide (KOH) an acid or base? Is it strong or weak? It’s conjugate pairs, and so on.

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So, Is KOH an acid or base? KOH is base bereason once it dissolved in an aqueous solution it offers two ions K+ and OH–. And any kind of molecule which offers OH– after dissolving in water is the base. Its pH worth lies between 12-13.

KOH is mainly much less preferred for commercial offers because of its high-cost worry.

Name of MoleculePotassium hydroxide
Chemical formulaKOH
pH value12 to 13
Conjugate acid


NatureStrong base
Basicity (pKb)-0.7

Page Contents present
1 Why KOH is base?
2 Is Potassium hydroxide(KOH) a strong base or weak base?
3 Why Potassium hydroxide(KOH) is not an acid?
4 Why KOH act as a Lewis base?
5 What is the conjugate acid of KOH?
6 How to understand if KOH is acid or base practically?
7 Is KOH alkali or not?
8 Uses of Potassium hydroxide
9 Conclusion

Why KOH is base?

A base is characterized as a proton acceptor or lone pair donor. When KOH dissolves in water is split right into 2 ions K+ and also OH–. You have to note that the hydroxide ion is the solid inorganic base bereason it strongly accepts the H+.

As KOH dissociates into K+ and also OH–, this OH– ion accepts the proton (H+) to come to be water.

⇒ KOH + (aq) → K+ (aq) + OH– (aq)

Theoretically, we have 3 ideas to examine whether KOH is acid or base.

(a). Arrhenius concept

(b). Bronsted-Lowry concept

(c). Lewis concept

Let’s examine whether KOH acid or base according to these concepts.

(1). Arrhenius concept: 

According to the Arrhenius principle, the compound is said to be base once it produces OH– ion via ionization or through dissociation in water.

Clat an early stage, once KOH reacts through the aqueous solution it produces one OH– ion and that is enough to know from this concept why KOH is Arrhenius base.

(2). Bronsted-Lowry concept: 

According to the Bronsted-Lowry principle, a compound is sassist to be base as soon as it accepts the proton from various other compounds. Or you have the right to say proton acceptor is shelp to be Bronsted-Lowry base.

Important note: To understand whether a compound acid or base, sindicate count the number of hydrogen before and also after the reaction in solution. When the number of hydrogen is diminished then the compound is base and also as soon as the number of hydrogen enhanced then the compound is acid.

Take an instance for understanding whether KOH base or acid according to the Bronsted-lowry concept-

According to the above reactivity, KOH has two ions K+ and also OH–, as soon as they react with HCl then OH– accepts H+ from HCl to creates H2O. 

So, KOH ion accepting the proton or hydrogen ion from one more compound, and according to this idea KOH is a Bronsted-Lowry base.

(3). Lewis concept: 

Here comes the most crucial idea of acid and base. According to the lewis concept, a compound is sassist to be acid as soon as it accepts the lone pair and also a compound is said to be base once it donates the lone pair of electrons.

What does it mean?

It means Lewis acid is a compound that has a deficiency of electrons that’s why they are lone pair acceptors and lewis’s base is a compound that is wealthy in electrons so, they are lone pair donors.

⇒ Lewis acid → lone pair acceptor

⇒ Lewis base → lone pair donator

Remember: Lewis acid is electrophile because they are electron loving and also lewis’s base is a nucleophile that hates the electrons.

As KOH create OH– in an aqueous solution which is negatively charged that donate electron pair to various other compounds bereason it has 3 lone pair of electrons.

So, we can say KOH is lewis’s base likewise.

To recognize whether Potassium hydroxide(KOH) a strong base or weak, you must recognize the standard difference between a strong base or a weak base.

Strong base: A compound is a strong base when it totally dissociates in an aqueous solution and also libeprices a big number of hydroxide ions. All moles of the solid base dissociate right into hydroxide anion and no component continues to be undissociated into the solution.

Example: Sodium hydroxide(NaOH), Barium hydroxide (Ba(OH)2), Calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), Lithium hydroxide (LiOH), Potassium hydroxide (KOH), and so on.

Weak base: A compound is a weak base when it partially or not totally dissociate in an aqueous solution. It suggests only some parts of the weak base dissociates in the solution to give OH- ion but some parts remain undissociated inside the solution.

Example- Ammonia (NH3), Ammonia hydroxide (NH4OH), Hydrazine (N2H4), Phosphine (PH3), etc.

Strong baseWeak base
They ionize completely.They carry out not totally ionize.
They are highly reenergetic.They are less reactive compare to a solid base.
The worth of pH lies in between 10 to 14.The value of pH lies between 7 to 10.
They have actually a high equilibrium continuous.They have actually a much less equilibrium consistent.
They are great electrolytes.They are no so excellent electrolytes compare to a solid base.
Example – NaOH, KOH, LiOH, and so on. Example – N2H4, NH3, NH4OH, and so on.

So, Is Potassium hydroxide (KOH) a strong base or weak? Yes, KOH is the strong base because it entirely dissociates in an aqueous solution to provide OH– ion and no moles of it remain inside the solution. And the amount of OH– ions in an aqueous solution is incredibly high and we recognize OH– ions can easily accept the proton.

So, more proton acceptors current in the solution inevitably make the KOH a solid base.


As you see in the over aqueous solution when KOH is dissolved in water, it is totally ionized into the ions(K+ and also OH–). No undissociated molecule(KOH) present in the solution, just ionized ions current all over in the solution.

⇒ KOH + (aq) → K+ (aq) + OH– (aq)

The single arrowhead supplied in the over reaction reflects that just forward reaction takes place at equilibrium and no backward reaction occurs in solution.

As K+ is extremely weak conjugate acid of KOH, for this reason it has no ability to react through either OH– ion or through water molecules ions. Therefore, only dividing ions(K+ and also OH–) remain in the solution.

Or you can likewise assume the K+ as a spectator ion because it virtually useless in solution, it has actually no effect on the pH worth of the solution.

“A spectator ion is an ion that does not take part in the chemical reactivity and is uncovered in solution both before and also after the reactivity.”

Hence, a huge variety of hydroxide ions current in the aqueous solution of KOH, steadily rise the pH worth and rises the effect of the fundamental in solution.

Also, the base dissociation continuous value(Kb) for KOH is better than 1.

An base dissociation constant (Kb) is a quantitative meacertain of the strength of an base in solution.

⇒ If the worth of the dissociation continuous of the base is better than 1 (Kb > 1), then the nature of the compound is a solid base.

⇒ If Kb

Acid is a compound that donates H+ ions when disresolving them in an aqueous solution. It indicates the acid is the proton donator.


So, Is KOH is an acid? KOH is not an acid because once it dissolves in an aqueous solution, it furnishes a huge amount of OH– ions. And OH– ion is an excellent acceptor of the proton, which suggests KOH ions are proton acceptors, not a proton donator.

KOH + (aq) → K+ (aq) + OH– (aq)

We have two theories given by Arrhenius and also Bronsted-Lowry to inspect why KOH is not acid?

According to the Arrhenius theory, any compound is said to be acid once it libeprices H+ ion in water or aqueous solution. And we recognize KOH in an aqueous solution just produces OH– ion. So, KOH is not an Arrhenius acid.

According to the Bronsted-lowry concept, any kind of compound is sassist to acid as soon as it has actually a propensity to donate the proton to other compounds. Let’s take an example to understand also this-

⇒ KOH(aq) + HCl(aq) → KCl(aq) +H2O(l)

When KOH reacts through a solid acid (HCl), the OH– ion accepts H+ from HCl to produce H2O, which suggests below KOH act as a proton acceptor.

So, KOH is not a Bronsted-lowry acid because it is dissatisfied through its theory.

⇒ Lewis base → lone pair donator

Now, why KOH acts as a Lewis base? To know this first we have to know what type of compound is Lewis acid and Lewis base.

⇒ Lewis acid: They are electron-loving compounds because they have actually a deficiency of electrons, they are likewise known as electrophile compounds.

Points to inspect when the compound is categorized as Lewis acid

When the main atom has an infinish octet. Example – BF3, BCl3, BeCl2, and so on.When the central atom has actually an empty d-orbital. Example- SiCl4 (1s22s22p63s23p2 3d0).When the main atom created multiple bonds through the disequivalent atom. Example – SiO2 (O = Si = O)All simple cations choose H+, Na+, Mg+2, Al+3, etc. ( Exception NH4+, PH4+ are not a lewis acid)

⇒ Lewis base: They are nucleophile compounds that donate the lone pair of electrons to various other compounds because they are wealthy in electrons.

Points to check as soon as a compound is categorized as Lewis base

All negative ion is lewis base. Example – CN–, OH–, Cl–, and so on.All neutral species which have actually lone pair of electrons. Example – NH3, C2H5OH, NaOH, and so on. (Note:- Some exemption instances deserve to occur)

Now KOH acts as lewis’s base because it has actually three lone pairs of electrons, a compound only accepts the electrons once it has actually a deficiency of electrons however KOH has actually 3 lone pairs of electrons and it donates these electrons to other compounds bereason it is wealthy in electrons.

Let’s understand also it through the help of an example-


As KOH has three lone pairs of electrons and also it reacts with HCl. In the initially half of the reactivity, chlorine has actually 3 lone pairs and also one bonded pair however for creating KCl, chlorine demands 4 lone pairs of electrons.

The electrons in the hydrogen-chlorine bonds attracted in the direction of the chloride ion because of it high electronegativity leaving hydrogen slightly positive and also chlroine negative.

The lone pair on the hydroxide ion of KOH molecule attracted in the direction of hydrogen atom in HCl molecule.

As it viewpoints it, the electrons in the hydrogen-chlorine bond are repelled still even more in the direction of the chlorine.

Eventually, a co-ordinate bond is formed between the hydroxide ion and the hydrogen, and also the chlorine breaks amethod as a chloride ion.

The whole HCl molecule acts as Lewis acid as it accept the lone pair from hydroxide ion, and in this process it breaks up.

So, HCl accepts the lone pair of the electron, therefore, it is Lewis acid and KOH donates the lone pair of the electron, therefore, it is Lewis base.

In technological terms, Compounds identified from each various other by a single proton(H+) are said to be Conjugate acid-base pairs.

In straightforward terms, when the proton is removed from parent acid then the compound is formed which is dubbed the conjugate base of that acid and also once the proton is added to the parent base then the compound is created which is referred to as conjugate acid of that base.

Concept of Conjugate acid-base pair-


A very weak acid develops the strong conjugate base.A extremely weak base creates strong conjugate acid.A very solid acid creates the weak conjugate base.A incredibly strong base creates weak conjugate acid.

⇒ Very weak implies it doesn’t act as acid or base as soon as liquified in an aqueous solution.

⇒ Very strong means, acid or base ionizes 100% when liquified in an aqueous solution.

Example 1: NH3 + H+ → NH4+

Here in this reactivity, NH3 is a weak base and also we know a weak base always forms a conjugate acid(not necessarily the solid one).

So, NH4+ is the conjugate acid of NH3.

Example 2: HCl → H+ + Cl–

In this reactivity, HCl is a very strong acid and we understand incredibly strong acid constantly develops the weak conjugate base by donating one proton.

So, Cl– is the weak conjugate base of HCl.

Example 3: CH3COOH + H2O → CH3COO– + H3O+

Here in this reactivity, CH3COOH is a weak acid that donates the proton to form CH3COO–, which indicates CH3COO– is the conjugate base of CH3COOH.

H2O behaves as the base bereason it accepts the proton from CH3COOH to develop H3O+, which indicates H3O+ is the conjugate acid of H2O.

⇒ The Conjugate acid of KOH is K+.


⇒ KOH(s) + H2O(l) → K+ + OH– + H2O

Till now we learn exactly how to understand if compound acid or not theoretically. To know almost, among the easiest ways to use litmus paper.

Litmus is a water-soluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens. It is regularly absorbed onto filter paper to create one of the oldest develops of pH indicator, offered to test products for acidity.

Note: When Red litmus paper turns blue while contacting through the base then the compound is said to be base. And as soon as blue litmus paper transforms red while contacting with the acid then the compound is said to be acidic.

When KOH is contacted with red litmus paper then litmus paper transforms right into blue color. So, we can say KOH is the base.

Is KOH alkali or not?

Alkali is a solid base that produces hydroxide ions as soon as it is liquified in water. All soluble hydroxides choose lithium, cesium, sodium, potassium, and so on are alkali metals.

An alkali is said to be strongest once it produces practically all OH- ions as soon as it is liquified in water.

As for KOH once disresolving in water it produces virtually all OH- ions that inevitably make it strong alkali.

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Uses of Potassium hydroxide

It is provided in production soft soaps.In the food industry, it is provided as a food thickener, stabilizer, and pH regulating agent.It is offered as an electrolyte in alkaline batteries.It is used in the production of biodiesel. 


I hope you should reap this post on Is Potassium hydroxide(KOH) an acid or base? And I think this write-up gets rid of every one of the doubt you have actually over Why KOH is base, why it’s not an acid, is its a solid base or not, and so on. Still, if you have a doubt regarding this then you have to clear it by asking in a comment box. Lastly, I am giving you a short overcheck out of this article.