We’re being asked which of the given solutions will have the greatest buffering capacity.
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
Recall the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation:
• the ideal buffer is when the amount of conjugate base is equal to the amount of the weak acid.
[conjugate base] = [weak acid]
Of the following solutions, which has the greatest buffering capacity?
a. 0.100 M NH3 and 0.455 M NH4CI
b. 0.087 M NH3 and 0.088 M NH4CI
c. They are all buffer solutions and would all have the same capacity.
d. 0.234 M NH3 and 0.100 M NH4CI
e. 0.543 M NH3 and 0.555 M NH4CI
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