World Journal of Chemical Education
ISSN (Print): 2375-1665 ISSN (Online): 2375-1657 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prof. V. Jagannadham
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2015, 3(5), 124-126
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-3-5-4
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An Algebraic Derivation of Buffer Capacity

Matthew S. Fox1, , Joshua W. Greenberg1 and Jake M. Trookman1

1Department of Chemistry, Cheyenne Mountain High School, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-1622 United States

Pub. Date: November 18, 2015

Cite this paper:
Matthew S. Fox, Joshua W. Greenberg and Jake M. Trookman. An Algebraic Derivation of Buffer Capacity. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2015; 3(5):124-126. doi: 10.12691/wjce-3-5-4


Acid-base chemistry is becoming evermore infamous amongst new chemistry students—especially specialized topics such as buffers and their capacities. Currently, introductory chemistry students struggle to fully understand the formal definition of buffer capacity. In this manuscript, we algebraically derive a new and simple mathematical representation for buffer capacity from the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. We find that three buffer capacity formulas evolve—each with a specific application depending on the concentration-ratio of weak acid or base to its corresponding conjugate.

analytical chemistry first-year undergraduate/general high school/introductory chemistry problem solving/decision making acids-bases

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