|LESSON 1: Basic Chemistry|
pH: ACIDS VERSUS BASES
Measure of Hydrogen Ions (H+) in solution: The more Hydrogen Ions (H+) there are the more acidic a solution is.
Where do Hydrogen Ions (H+) come from? Well, it's all part of water really...
- Water (H2O) splits into Hydrogen Ions (H+) and Hydroxyl Ions (OH-).
- When there are equal parts of Hydrogen Ions (H+) and Hydroxyl Ions (OH-) leading to a 1:1 ratio, pH is neutral (7).
Sometimes other chemicals are present that are dissolved by water. The pieces that result may contain an Hydrogen Ion (H+) or Hydroxyl Ion (OH-). This will change the pH.
Acids add Hydrogen Ions (H+) to solutions.
- Hydrochloric acid (HCl) splits into Hydrogen Ions (H+) and Chloride Ions (Cl-).
- Extra H+ means acid solution (no more equal parts).
- the 1:1 ratio is changed, now there are too many H+, it turns acidic.
Bases add Hydroxyl Ion (OH-) to solutions.
- Sodium Hydroxide Solution (NaOH) splits into Sodium (Na+) and Hydroxyl Ions (OH-).
- Extra Hydroxyl Ions (OH-) shifts ratio (fewer free H+ than normal).
- the 1:1 ratio is changed, now there are too few Hydrogen (H+) and there are "extra" OH- ions.
- The solution becomes basic.
Anything that's too acidic or too basic will degrade organic matter. Tissues are destroyed, cells will die or at least not function properly.