Problem: What is the ratio of HCO3- to H2CO3 in blood of pH 7.4?

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FREE Expert Solution

We are asked for the ratio of HCO3- to H2CO3 in blood of pH 7.4. 

Since the solution is a buffer, we can use the Henderson-Hasselbalch Equation to calculate the ratio of [HCO3-]/[H2CO3] to have a pH of 7.4

pH = pKa + log conjugate baseweak acid


In the solution, identify the weak acid and the conjugate base. 

Recall from the Bronsted-Lowry definition that an acid is a proton (H+) donor and the base is a proton (H+) acceptor.

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What is the ratio of HCO3- to H2CO3 in blood of pH 7.4?