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ANALTICALTECHNIQUES ASSIGNMENT

COURSE#509
WHAT IS A BUFFER SOLUTION?
DEFINITION
A buffer solution is one which resists changes in pH when small quantities of an acid or
an alkali are added to it.
ACIDIC BUFFER SOLUTIONS
An acidic buffer solution is simply one which has a pH less than 7. Acidic buffer solutions
are commonly made from a weak acid and one of its salts - often a sodium salt.
A common example would be a mixture of ethanoic acid and sodium
ethanoate in solution. In this case, if the solution contained equal molar concentrations
of both the acid and the salt, it would hae a pH of !.7". It wouldn#t matter what the
concentrations were, as long as they were the same.
$ou can change the pH of the buffer solution by changing the ratio of acid to salt, or by
choosing a different acid and one of its salts.
ALKALINE BUFFER SOLUTIONS
An alkaline buffer solution has a pH greater than 7. Alkaline buffer solutions are
commonly made from a weak base and one of its salts.
A frequently used example is a mixture of ammonia solution and ammonium
chloride solution. If these were mixed in equal molar proportions, the solution would
hae a pH of %.&'. Again, it doesn#t matter what concentrations you choose as long as
they are the same.
BUFFER SOLUTION
A buffer solution is one in which the pH of the solution is (resistant( to small additions of
either a strong acid or strong base. )uffers usually consist of a weak acid and its
con*ugate base, in relatiely equal and (large( quantities. +alculations are based on the
equation for the ioni,ation of the weak acid in water forming the hydronium ion and the
con*ugate base of the acid. (HA( represents any weak acid and (A-( represents the
con*ugate base.
HA(aq) H!O(l) ""# H$O(aq) A"(aq)
Ka % &H$O'&A"'
&HA'
WHAT IS A BUFFER AND HOW DOES IT WORK? " THE CONCE(T
A buffer must contain an acid component and a basic component. -ypically a buffer may
either consist of an acid and its con*ugate base or of a base and its con*ugate acid. In
either case it contains a (common( ion, i.e. an ion that is common to the acid.base
equilibrium/
Example)
CH$COOH H!O CH$COO" H$O
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ANALTICALTECHNIQUES ASSIGNMENT
COURSE#509
Acid con*ugated base
0ikewise/
NH$ H!O NH* OH"
)ase con*ugated acid
In the discussion that follows below, we will discuss the acetic acid.acetate buffer
system.
+ontains a large reseroir of acid 1CH$COOH)and its con*ugate base (CH$COO")+
+oncentrations of acid and con*ugate base are about equal 1typically about 2 molar
solutions3
&H$O' or &OH"' concentrations are generally much smaller than acid or con*ugated base
of the buffer solution
CH$COOH H!O CH$COO" H$O
4hen a small amount of strong acid is added to the buffer solution, it will react with the
con*ugated base (CH$COO")+ and the equilibrium will shift to the left, increasing
concentration of CH$COOH, +onsequently, the pH of the buffer solution will decrease,
but only slightly.
0ikewise, if a small amount of a strong base is added, it will shift the equilibrium to the
right, and the pH of the buffer solution will slightly increase.
HOW TO (RE(ARE A BUFFER
A compound can buffer the pH of a solution only when its concentration is sufficient and
when the pH of the solution is close 1within about one pH unit3 to its p5a. -o make a
buffer you must first pick a compound whose p5a is close to the pH you want for the
solution, and then decide what the buffer concentration should be. -ypically, buffer
concentrations are between 2 m6 and &77 m6, depending on the desired ionic strength
and the buffering capacity required. If the pH is expected to decrease during the
experiment, choose a buffer with a p5a slightly below the working pH. +onersely, if the
pH is expected to increase during the experiment, select a buffer with a p5a slightly
aboe the working pH. Haing decided on the total buffer concentration, you must
ad*ust the ratio of the protonated and unprotonated forms of the buffer in your solution so
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ANALTICALTECHNIQUES ASSIGNMENT
COURSE#509
as to gie the desired pH. -ypically, buffers are composed of weak acids and their salts,
or weak bases and their salts. If the protonated form is uncharged, it is an acid 1like
acetic acid3, and its unprotonated form is a salt 1e.g., sodium acetate3. +onersely, if the
unprotonated form is uncharged it is a base 1like -ris base3, and its protonated form is a
salt 1e.g., -risH+l3.
BUFFER S-STE.
A buffer system can be made by mixing a soluble compound that contains the con*ugate
base with a solution of the acid such as sodium acetate with acetic acid or ammonia with
ammonium chloride. -he aboe equation for 5a can be rearranged to sole for the
hydronium ion concentration. )y knowing the 5a of the acid, the amount of acid, and the
amount of con*ugate base, the pH of the buffer system can be calculated.
&H$O' % Ka&HA'
&A"'
pH % "lo/&H$O'
CALCULATION OF THE (H OF A BUFFER SOLUTION
In order to calculate the pH of the buffer solution you need to know the amount of acid
and the amount of the con*ugate base combined to make the solution. -hese amounts
should be either in moles or in molarities. -he 5a of the acid also needs to be known.
Example/ A buffer solution was made by dissoling 27.7 grams of sodium acetate in
&77.7 m0 of 2.77 6 acetic acid. Assuming the change in olume when the sodium
acetate is not significant, estimate the pH of the acetic acid.sodium acetate buffer
solution. -he 5a for acetic acid is 2.7 x 27-'.
8irst, write the equation for the ioni,ation of acetic acid and the 5a expression.
9earrange the expression to sole for the hydronium 0on concen12a10on,
CH$COOH(aq) H!O(l) ""# H$O(aq) CH$COO"(aq)
&H$O' % Ka&CH$COOH'
&CH$COO"'
:econd, determine the number of moles of acid and of the con*ugate base.
12.77 6 +H;+<<H 3 1&77.7 m03 12 0.2777 m03 = 7.&77 mol +H;+<<H
127.7 g >a+H;+<<3 12 mol.?&.7; g3 = 7.2&& mol >a+H;+<<
:ubstitute these alues, along with the 5a alue, into the aboe equation and
sole for the hydronium ion concentration. +onert the hydronium ion concentration
into pH.
@H;<AB = 12.7 x 27-'3 17.&77.7.2&&3 = &.7% x 27
-'

pH = !.'"
BUFFER CA(ACIT- AND BUFFER RAN3E)
-he buffer capacity is the ability to resist change in pH. -he more concentrated the
components of a buffer, the greater the buffer capacity
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ANALTICALTECHNIQUES ASSIGNMENT
COURSE#509
REFERENCES
http/..www.thomasregister.com.olc.";%7777?.crane.htm
http/..www.school-for-champions.com.science.chembases.htm
http/..www.chemguide.co.uk.physical.acidbaseeqia.buffers.html
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