What is a buffer Solution?
A buffer solution is made up of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base, or vice versa. It is an aqueous solution whose pH changes slightly when a small amount of strong base or acid is added to it.
Types Of Buffer Solutions
There are two types of buffer solutions viz acidic buffer and basic buffer.
- Acidic Buffer
These buffer solutions are generally made from a weak acid and one of its salts which is usually a sodium salt. It has a pH value less than 7.
- Basic Buffer
These buffer solution are generally made from a weak base and one of its salts. It has a pH value greater than 7.
Example of Buffer Solutions
Acidic Buffer Solution –
The best example would be considering a mixture of sodium ethanoate and ethanoic acid in solution. The pH of the solution would be equal to 4.76 if it contained the same molar concentrations of acid and base. The concentration would not matter if they are the same.
Basic Buffer Solution –
The best example would be considering a mixture of ammonium chloride solution and ammonia solution. The pH of the solution would be equal to 9.25 if the solutions would be mixed in equal molar proportions. same molar concentrations of acid and base. The concentration would not matter if they are the same.
Applications of Buffer Solutions
- It is used in soaps to counteract the alkalinity.
- Cleopatra used in cosmetics
- Used to maintain the pH for enzymes in various organisms
- It is present in blood plasma to maintain a pH value between 7.35 and 7.45
- It is used in the fermentation process.
- It is used in chemical analysis.
- It is used in textile industries.
- It is used to correct conditions for dyes.
- It is used in laundry detergents to prevent breaking down of their natural ingredients.
Buffer capacity is defined as the property of buffer to resist alteration in its pH value. Buffer capacity is greatest when pH = pKa or pOH = pKb.
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