Use the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation to determine the ratio of the conjugate base (lactate) and weak acid (lactic acid)
Step 1. Plugin the values of pH and pKa to the HH equation
During exercise when the body lacks an adequate supply of oxygen to support energy production, the pyruvate that is produced from the breakdown of glucose is converted into lactate. High lactate levels can lead to acidity in the muscle cells as some of the lactate hydrolyzes to lactic acid.
The dissociation of lactic acid to lactate is shown in the reaction below. Lactic acid has a pKa of 3.86.
A solution containing a mixture of lactic acid and lactate was found to have a pH of 3.24. Calculate the ratio of the lactate concentration to the lactic acid concentration in this solution.
What fraction of the lactic acid/lactate mixture is lactic acid?
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