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Introduction Buffer solution is a solution that resists changes in pH Buffer solutions can occur either at acidic or basic pH An acidic buffer solution consists of a solution of a weak acid and its conjugate base for example ethanoic acid and sodium ethanoate A basic buffer solution consists of a solution of a weak base and its conjugate acid for example ammonia and ammonium chloride If the added solution varies with the pH value of the original buffered solution the pH of the final solution will remains unchanged provided that the buffer is not full Buffer solutions provides its buffering effect mainly based on the effect of chemical equilibrium Buffer solutions is an essential kind of reagent in many biological processes involving living organisms as well as many modern chemical industrial processes Their composition Typically a buffer solution contains a weak acid and its conjugate weak base in approximately equal concentrations with both components present in appreciable amount For example if we need to prepare a buffer solution in the laboratory we can do so by mixing ammonium chloride NH4Cl and ammonia NH3 provided that each component is of high concentration How they function To see how buffer solutions work let us write the equilibrium expression for the ionization of a weak acid HA The equation for the ionization of a weak acid is HAaq H2O1 H3Oaq A-aq To write the equilibrium expression the concentration of the products H3O and A- are divided by the concentration of the reactants HA and H2O and set equal to Ka the equilibrium constant H3OA- Ka HAH2O Rearranging this expression to solve for the H3O ions gives H3O Ka HAH2O A- The concentration of the H3O ions depends on the ratio of the concentration of HA to A- or the weak acid and its conjugate base For producing an effective
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