9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097




9th Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl
ISBN: 9781133611097
Textbook Problem

Carbonate buffers are important in regulating the pH of blood at 7.40. If the carbonic acid concentration in a sample of blood is 0.0012 M, determine the bicarbonate ion concentration required to buffer the pH of blood at pH = 7.40.

H2CO(aq) ⇌ HCO3-(aq) + H+(aq) Ka = 4.3 × 10-7

Interpretation Introduction


The concentration of carbonic acid and pH value of blood is given. The concentration of bicarbonate ion is to be calculated.

Concept introduction:

The pH value is the measure of H+ ions. The relation between pH and pKa is given by Henderson-Hassel Bach equation. According to this equation,





The concentration of carbonic acid is 0.0012 .

The value of pH is 7.40 .

The value of Ka for carbonic acid is 4.3×107 .

The pH is calculated using the Henderson-Hassel Bach equation,



  • pH is the measure of H+ ions.
  • pKa is the measure of acidic strength.
  • [HCO3] is concentration of bicarbonate (HCO3) .
  • [H2CO3] is concentration of carbonic acid.

The formula of pKa is,



  • Ka is acid equilibrium constant.

Substitute the value of pKa in Henderson-Hassel Bach equation.


Substitute the values of Ka,[H2CO3] and pH value in the above equation

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