Titrations are often recorded on graphs called titration curves, which generally contain the volume of the titrant as the independent variable and the pH of the solution as the dependent variable (because it changes depending on the composition of the two solutions). The equivalence point on the graph is where all of the starting solution (usually an acid) has been neutralized by the titrant (usually a base). One can easily find the pKa of the monoprotic acid by finding the pH of the point halfway between the beginning of the curve and the equivalence point, and solving the simplified equation. A buffer is a special solution that stops massive changes in pH levels. Every buffer that is made has a certain buffer capacity, and buffer range. The buffer capacity is the amount of acid or base that can be added before the pH begins to change significantly. It can be also defined as the quantity of strong acid or base that must be added to change the pH of one liter of solution by one pH unit. The buffer range is the pH range where a buffer effectively neutralizes added acids and bases, while maintaining a relatively constant pH. To effectively maintain a pH range, a buffer must consist of a weak conjugate acid-base pair, meaning either a. a weak acid and its conjugate base, or b. a weak base and its conjugate acid. The use of one or the other will simply depend upon the desired pH when preparing the buffer. A buffer is able to resist pH change because the two components (conjugate acid and conjugate base) are both present in appreciable amounts at equilibrium and are able to neutralize small amounts of other acids and bases (in the form of H3O+ and OH-) when they are added to the solution. Buffers function best when the pKa of the conjugate weak acid used is close to the desired working range of the buffer. This turns out to be the case when the concentrations of the conjugate acid and conjugate base are approximately equal (within...
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