More Email Questions...

A couple more email questions:

On exam b spring 2011 #5 why should this be changed to Ka instead of Kb? Also on exam b spring 2010 #2 the 3rd line its says that HCl  works as an effective buffer. I thought an effective buffer had to be a weak conjugate acid/base?
Here's question #5
This is Ka because ammonium ion is a conjugate acid. You could also do this as a Kb equilibrium, but you'd be starting with products and shifting to the left to form reactants. Either way should give the same answer.

Here's #2:
Correct, an effective buffer is an approximately equimolar combination of a weak conjugate acid and its weak conjugate base. In the 3rd line here, HCl(aq) is protonating the carbonate in solution 1.5 times so the resulting mixture is 0.64mols HCO3-1(aq) and 0.64mols H2CO3(aq). This is an equimolar mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base, so it should be a good buffer. {NOTE: because carbonic acid decomposes and the resulting CO2 can escape from solution, this might not be the best buffer in the real world, but it works fine as a sample problem.} This is similar to how you are making the carbonate buffer that you will measure in lab this week.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Bodwin I sent an email with questions about this coming test. Just wanted to let you know...