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Chemistry > Acids, Bases and Salts > What is Buffer Solution?
Acids, Bases and Salts

What is Buffer Solution?

Buffer Solution

A buffer solution refers to an aqueous solution. Furthermore, it consists of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base or vice-versa. This solution is quite important in the field of chemistry. You can explore more about buffer solutions here.

Definition of Buffer Solution

A buffer solution certainly consists of an acid and a base. This solution comes into existence by taking weak acid and then adding to its conjugate base. Another way to form it is by taking combining a weak base with its conjugate acid.

The use of conjugate solutions is significantly important in buffer solutions. We used buffer solutions in order to keep pH at a somewhat constant value. This has a wide variety of chemistry applications.

The use of conjugates gives buffer solutions their resistance to pH changes. Furthermore, it creates an equilibrium between the acid and the base.

Creating equilibrium is something that is difficult for other acids and bases to overcome. Even when strong acids or bases are used, the equilibrium between the weak acid/base and its conjugate reduces the effect of addition on overall solution pH.

buffer solution

Application of Buffer Solution

Buffer solutions certainly have a massive range of applications. The applications of buffer solutions are for both the real world and the lab.

A buffered pH is a necessity of most enzymes to function efficiently and correctly. Furthermore, buffering is important for ensuring proper colour concentration when using dyes.

A buffer solution is required for calibrating equipment. It is especially required for pH meters that may be in the miscalibrated in the absence of a buffer.

Buffer solutions whose preparation takes place from acetic acid, citric acid, ammonia, can have pH values as high as 10 or as low as 2. This allows buffer solutions to be worked with very strong bases or acids.

Properties of Buffer Solution

Buffer solutions are certainly resistant to changes in pH. However, the pH of a buffer solution can change if there is an addition of sufficient strong acid or strong base.

Buffer capacity refers to the amount of strong acid or base a buffer solution can take before significant pH changes take place. It is a measure of the resistance of a buffer solution to pH change on the addition of hydroxide ions.

Buffer capacity differs in accordance with the core components of the buffer solution and the amount of strong acid or base.

If adding a strong acid to buffer solutions, the capacity is equal to the base’s amount. If adding a strong base, the capacity is equal to the acid’s amount.

Solved Question For You

Q1 Which of the following statements is not true when it comes to buffer solutions?

A. Buffer solutions are organic in nature
B. Buffer solutions are aqueous solutions
C. These solutions consist of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base
D. The use of conjugates gives buffer solutions their resistance to pH changes

A1 The correct answer is option A. which is “buffer solutions are organic in nature”. This is not true because buffer solutions consist of a mixture of a weak acid and its conjugate base or vice-versa.

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