Electrolyte Balances and Body Fluid

Topics: PH, Acid, Blood Pages: 2 (630 words) Published: September 11, 2012
Electrolyte Balances and Body Fluid

Question 1
a)Electrolytes are chemicals which when in a solution dissociate into ions. Ions are electrically charged particles which can either have a positive or negative charge. Ions are generally inorganic salts, acids and bases and some proteins. Ions have a strong chemical bond as they have both positive and negative charges forcing them together. When these bonds are released into a water solution (H2O) the ions dissociate because the negative particles are attracted to the positive hydrogen ions in the water and the positive particles go to the negative oxygen ions and therefor break up the bond. Question 2

a)Blood plasma contains many different substances such as inorganic salts, proteins, nutrients, hormones, metabolic waste products and respiratory gases. Sodium, potassium and calcium are substances found in blood plasma which are charged particles; Lipids, glucose, creatinine and urea are also found in blood plasma and are examples of substances which are not electrically charged. Electrolytes are charged ions which can conduct electricity. Particles which have no charge cannot conduct electricity and therefor are not electrolytes but rather nonelectrolytes.

b)All living cells can only tolerate a slight change in pH levels in their surroundings as they struggle to function. It isn’t uncommon for the blood to have an excess amount of certain substances in it, simply from everyday living; For example there will be an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood when exercising. This increase in CO2 would decrease the bloods pH level but due to buffering the cells are still able to function normally. Buffers are a mixture of a weak acid of hydrogen ions and a weak base of bicarbonate ions. If the pH level becomes too acidic, the weak base in the buffer mixture will release bicarbonate ions to counteract the increased hydrogen ions which will in turn form a weak acid solution. On the other hand, when the...
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