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# pH_Tutorial - pH Tutorial First some ground rules Water...

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pH Tutorial First, some ground rules: Water dissociates in the following reaction: H 2 O H + + OH - equation 1 Actually, free H + never exists in aqueous solution. Rather, H + combines with H 2 O to form H 3 O + . So a more correct way to write this equation would be: H 2 O H 3 O + + OH - equation 2 But sometimes it is just easier to use the shorthand of substituting H + for H 3 O + Acid: a substance that increases the H + concentration (also symbolized [H + ]) of a solution. An acidic solution has more H + in it than OH - Base: a substance that reduces the [H + ] in a solution. This may be done directly or indirectly, as shown in the following examples: DIRECT: NH 3 + H + NH 4 + equation 3 INDIRECT: NaOH Na + + OH - equation 4 The reason that the indirect method reduces the [H + ] of a solution is because the OH - released by the base combines with H + formed when water dissociates (see equation 1 above) to form H 2 O, thereby lowering the [H + ] of a neutral solution. A basic solution has more OH - than H + .

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