We’re being asked to determine which of the given solutions is the most effective buffer.
Recall that a buffer can be composed of the following:
• weak base and its conjugate acid
• weak acid and its conjugate base
• weak acid and a strong base
▪ concentration of weak acid > concentration of strong base
• weak base and a strong acid
▪ concentration of weak base > concentration of strong acid
The maximum buffering capacity of a solution is when the pH of the solution is equal to pKa and the buffer range of a solution is pH = pKa ± 1.
• maximum buffering capacity: pH = pKa
• buffering range: pH = pKa ± 1
Consider a buffer composed of the weak acid HA and its conjugate base A–. Which pair of concentrations results in the most effective buffer?
a) 0.10 M HA; 0.10 M A–
b) 0.50 M HA; 0.50 M A–
c) 0.90 M HA; 0.10 M A–
d) 0.10 M HA; 0.90 M A–
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