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These react in a kind of gigantic acid-base titration to give a solution in which hydrogen ions must predominate in order to maintain charge balance. 0 Table 4: Distribution of carbon on the Earth. 9 The carbonate system Of all the acid-base systems, none is more universally important than the one encompassing CO2 , HCO− 3, . Interconversions between these species cover a huge scale of nature, from the operation of and CO2− 3 the global carbon cycle to the pH balance of blood and cellular fluids.

Besides being a useful tool for rough estimations of pH, the log-C plot provides considerable insight into the factors that determine the shape of the titration curve. As shown in the lower part of Fig. 11, you can use the log-C vs pH diagram to construct an approximate titration curve. Polyprotic acids Whereas pH calculations for solutions of polyprotic acids become quite complex, the log-C plots for such systems simply contain a few more lines but are no more difficult to construct that those for monoprotic acids.

In order to maintain charge balance, some of the CO2 produced by normal metabolism of these food acids must be converted to bicarbonate (that is, K+ HCO− 3 ) which is a weak base. 1 Maintenance of acid-base balance It is remarkable that the pH of most cellular fluids can be kept within such a narrow range, given the large number of processes that tend to upset it. This is due to the exquisite balance between a large number of interlinked processes operating at many different levels. Acid-base balance in the body is maintained by two general mechanisms: selective excretion of acids or bases, and by the buffering action of weak acid-base systems in body fluids.

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