Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Chemistry: buffers and pH

  1. Apr 9, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A mixture containing 500ml of .1 M HC3H5O2 (acetic acid) and 500 ml of .1 M NaC3H5O2

    what is the pH?

    2. Relevant equations
    can someone walk me through this? i know the answer is 4.89 but im not sure how to get that. im not even entirely sure how to set up the equation

    3. The attempt at a solution
    i tried this to start, but not sure if its right:
    wa = weak acid
    sa = strong acid
    wb = weak base
    sb = strong base
    n = neutral

    HAc + NaOH <> NaAc + H20

    even if this is right, im not sure where to go from here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Have you studied the Henderson-Hasselbach equation?
  4. Apr 9, 2008 #3
    Just curious but are you provided with the Ka (acid dissociation constant) value for HC3H5O2?

    For this case it's [salt] over [acid] (with Henderson-Hasselbach equation). Notice the acidic buffer there.
  5. Apr 9, 2008 #4
    o sorry, the Ka = 1.3 x 10^-5
    and yes we were taught the enderson-Hasselbach technique

    i wish i could edit that into the 1st post but w/e
  6. Apr 9, 2008 #5
    Ooooo and I'm wondering why I can't find that vital piece of information. The Ka means everything. Use this equation:

    pH = pKa + log10 [salt]/[acid]

    pKa = -log10 (Ka)

    It's that simple =) Try it out!

    You don't even have to write out the equation. NaC3H5O2 is the salt and HC3H5O2 is the acid. What you do need to know is that this is an acidic buffer solution.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  7. Apr 9, 2008 #6
    ah ok that was easier than i thought, thanks
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook