Describe how a buffer resists changes in pH explain how to apply the Henderson-Hasselbach equation to solve for the pH of a buffered solution.

We know that a buffer is a solution that can resist pH change upon the addition of an acidic or basic components.The resisting of pH change is made possible by the ability of the buffer solution to neutralize small amounts of acid or base that are added into a solution, this therefore maintains the pH of the solution relatively stable.

  • Henderson-Hasselbach equation can be used to solve for pH for both acidic and basic buffers
  • For acidic buffers: pH = pKa + log10([A-]/[HA]) where Ka is the dissociation constant for the weak acid, [A-] is the concentration of conjugate base and [HA] is the concentration of the weak acid.
  • For basic or alkaline buffers, the Henderson-Hasselbach equation : pH = 14 – (pKb + log10([B+]/[BOH])) where Kb is the dissociation constant for the weak base, [B+] is the concentration of conjugate acid and [BOH] is the concentration of the weak base.

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