Problem: Blood is buffered by carbonic acid and the bicarbonate ion. Normal blood plasma is 0.024 M in HCO3– and 0.0012 M H2CO3 (pKa1 for H2 CO3 at body temperature is 6.1). If the volume of blood in a normal adult is 5.0 L, what mass of HCl could be neutralized by the buffering system in blood before the pH fell below 7.0 (which would result in death)?

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FREE Expert Solution

Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation


pH=pKa+logconjugate baseweak acid


pH=6.1+log 0.024 M0.0012 MpH=6.1+1.30

pH = 7.40 (initial buffer pH)


HCl (strong acid) will react with HCO3- (base).

  • base gains H+

Reaction:

HCO3-(aq) + HCl(aq) →H2CO3(aq) + Cl-(aq)


If x = concentration of HCl


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Problem Details

Blood is buffered by carbonic acid and the bicarbonate ion. Normal blood plasma is 0.024 M in HCO3 and 0.0012 M H2CO3 (pKa1 for H2 CO3 at body temperature is 6.1). If the volume of blood in a normal adult is 5.0 L, what mass of HCl could be neutralized by the buffering system in blood before the pH fell below 7.0 (which would result in death)?

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Buffer concept. You can view video lessons to learn Buffer. Or if you need more Buffer practice, you can also practice Buffer practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Ansari's class at PASADENA.