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pH calculations

pH calculations

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pH and the hydrogen ion concentration are related by the equation pH = -log₁₀[H⁺].

Determination of pH

Water molecules dissociate into hydrogen and hydroxide ions in solution. The ionic product of water describes the relationship between the two at equilibirum.

The ionic product of water

In solution, strong acids/bases completely dissociate into ions, but weak acids/bases only partially dissociate. The acid dissociation constant is Ka and is related to pKa by the expression pKa = -log₁₀Ka. The pH of a weak acid can be calculated by pH = 1/2 pKa - 1/2 log₁₀c.

The dissociation constant

A buffer solution maintains a constant pH when small volumes of acid or base are added. The pH of a buffer solution can be calculated by the equation pH = pKa - log₁₀[acid]/[salt].

Buffer calculations

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