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pH Scale

In this presentation you will:


explore how to measure the strength of
acids and bases

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Introduction
Acids and bases can be measured with the pH
scale which specifies the concentration of
hydrogen ions, H+, in a solution.

To show the concentration, the ion is enclosed


in square brackets, [H+].
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pH Scale
The pH scale is shown
for some common
substances.

pH values of some
common substances
Household Lye
Bleach
Ammonia
Milk of Magnesia

Pure (distilled) water


has a pH of 7. The
strongest acids are
around pH 0, and the
stronger bases around
pH 14.

Borax
Baking Soda
Sea Water
Blood
Distilled Water
Milk
Corn
Boric Acid
Orange Juice
Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Battery Acid

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pH Scale
As the pH scale
is logarithmic,
change in the
acidity or
basicity of a
solution of one
whole pH unit
actually
represents a
change of ten
times the
concentration of
hydrogen ions in
the solution.

pH values of some
common substances

H+ concentration, M
in moles per liter

Household Lye
Bleach
Ammonia
Milk of Magnesia
Borax
Baking Soda
Sea Water
Blood
Distilled Water
Milk
Corn
Boric Acid
Orange Juice
Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Battery Acid

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pH Scale
The pH of an
acidic or basic
solution can be
calculated from
the concentration
of H+ ions in the
solution.
The pH value is
the negative
logarithm of the
H+ ion
concentration:
pH = - log [H ]
10

pH values of some
common substances

H+ concentration, M
in moles per liter

Household Lye
Bleach
Ammonia
Milk of Magnesia
Borax
Baking Soda
Sea Water
Blood
Distilled Water
Milk
Corn
Boric Acid
Orange Juice
Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Battery Acid

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pH Scale
The
concentration of
hydrogen ions in
most aqueous
solutions is
between 110-14
M and 1 M.

pH values of some
common substances

H+ concentration, M
in moles per liter

Household Lye
Bleach
Ammonia
Milk of Magnesia
Borax
Baking Soda
Sea Water
Blood
Distilled Water
Milk
Corn
Boric Acid
Orange Juice
Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Battery Acid

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pH Scale
Therefore, the
range of pH
values for these
solutions is
between 14 and
From pH =
0:
- log10 (10-14) = 14
to pH =
- log10 (1) = 0
Concentration M in moles per
liter is sometimes expressed
as mol/dm3. These are
equivalent terms.

pH values of some
common substances

H+ concentration, M
in moles per liter

Household Lye
Bleach
Ammonia
Milk of Magnesia
Borax
Baking Soda
Sea Water
Blood
Distilled Water
Milk
Corn
Boric Acid
Orange Juice
Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Battery Acid

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pH Calculations Strong
Acids
A strong acid is one
that fully ionizes, or
dissociates into its
ions, in an aqueous
solution.
A strong acid is
fully dissociated
into H+ ions and
its associated
base ions (known
as its conjugate
base) in aqueous
solution.

Ionized

Hydrogen Ion

Chlorine Ion
(Conjugate base)

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pH Calculations Strong
Acids
The molar
concentration of
H+ will be equal
to the
concentration of
the acid.
This makes pH
calculations of
strong acids, of
known
concentration,
simple to work out.

Ionized

Hydrogen Ion

Chlorine Ion
(Conjugate base)

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pH Calculations Strong
Acids
HCl(aq) H+(aq) + Cl-(aq)

In a 0.25 M solution of HCl, the concentration


of H+ ions is also 0.25 M.
Hence:
[HCl] = [H+] = [Cl-] = 0.25 mol/L
pH = - log10 [H+]
pH = - log10 [0.25]
pH = 0.6
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pH Calculations Strong Bases


Like strong acids,
strong bases are
fully dissociated into
ions.

H2O(l) H+(aq) + OH-(aq)

However, in alkaline solutions, the


concentration of H+ ions is extremely low.
The ionic product of
water (Kw) is used to
calculate the pH of
bases.

Kw = [H+] [OH-] = 1 1014 mol/L

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pH Calculations Strong Bases


Water naturally
dissociates into H+
and OH ions with
equal concentrations
of 1107 mol/L at
298 K.
To calculate the
concentration of H+
ions in a basic
solution, we have to
rearrange this
equation.

H2O(l) H+(aq) + OH-(aq)

Kw = [H+] [OH-] = 1 1014 mol/L

[H+] = Kw / [OH-]
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pH Calculations Strong Bases


Consider a solution of NaOH of 0.25 M
concentration at 298 K:
[NaOH] = [Na+] = [OH-] =
0.25
To calculate the ionic
product of water:
[H+] = 1 1014 / 0.25

Kw = [H+] [OH-] = 1 1014 mol/L

= 4 10-14 mol/L
Therefore, the pH of NaOH is:

pH = - log10 [H+]

pH = - log10 (4 10-14 ) = 13.4

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Relationship between pH and


pOH

It is also possible to use the concentration of


the hydroxide ion (OH-) to measure the
strength of an acid or base, as pOH.

Kw = [H+] [OH-] = 1 1014 mol/L


pH = - log10 [H+]

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Relationship between pH and


pOH
Example

For a given concentration of hydrogen, say


[H+] = 1 107 mol/L
then, [OH-] = Kw / [H+] = 1 1014 / 1
107 = 1 107 mol/L
Since, pH = - log10 [H+], thenpOH = - log

10

[OH-]

pOH = - log10 [OH-] = - log10 (1 107 )


=7
In this case, pH = 7 and pOH = 7

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Relationship between pH and


pOH
In all cases, the sum of pOH and pH
will equal 14 because of the
relationship:
Kw = [H+] [OH-] = 1 1014 mol/L

Given either pOH or pH, then for any acid or


base the other can be calculated.
pOH + pH = 14

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Measuring pH

It is often necessary
to know the pH of a
solution, in order to
identify it as acidic
or basic.

Additionally, pH changes during a reaction


must often be continuously monitored, for
example in a titration experiment.

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Measuring pH
The most common experimental techniques
used for finding pH are:

Indicators, or
chemical
substances that
react to different
pH levels by
changing color.

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Measuring pH
The most common experimental techniques
used for finding pH are:
Universal pH
indicator paper,
which changes color
with pH. A chart is used
to identify the pH range
shown by each color.
pH meter, an
instrument which
measures the pH
directly.
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Question 1
The concentration of hydrogen ions in a
solution with a pH of 1 is...?
A) twice the concentration of a solution with a
pH 2.
B) half the concentration of a solution with a
pH 2.
C) ten times the concentration of a solution
with a pH 2.
D) a tenth of the concentration of a solution
with a pH 2.

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Question 1
The concentration of hydrogen ions in a
solution with a pH of 1 is...?
A) twice the concentration of a solution with a
pH 2.
B) half the concentration of a solution with a
pH 2.
C) ten times the concentration of a solution
with a pH 2.
D) a tenth of the concentration of a solution
with a pH 2.

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Question 2
What is the hydroxide ion concentration
for a 1 10-4 M HCl solution?
A) 1 10-4 M
B) 1 10-6 M
C) 1 10-8 M
D) 1 10-10 M

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Question 2
What is the hydroxide ion concentration
for a 1 10-4 M HCl solution?
A) 1 10-4 M
B) 1 10-6 M
C) 1 10-8 M
D) 1 10-10 M

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Summary
In this presentation you have seen:
an explanation of the pH scale
pH calculation of an acid and a base
the relationship between pH and pOH

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