College Level Guided-Inquiry Lab Kit: Properties of Buffer Solutions provides a culminating activity that ties together essential learning objectives relating to strong and weak acids, conjugate acid-base pairs, and more.
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College Level General Chemistry Guided-Inquiry Experiment
A buffer protects against rapid changes in pH when working with acids or bases. What are buffers made of? How does a buffer work? Can a buffer be designed to be effective in a given pH range? Is there such a thing as an ideal buffer? The purpose of this guided-inquiry lab kit is to design a buffer solution that will be effective in a specific pH range and to verify its buffer capacity. Students begin the investigation with an introductory activity to explore the composition and pH of ideal buffers and compare their pH changes when a strong acid and base are added. Understanding the properties of buffers prepares students for the guided-inquiry challenge—to design a buffer that will provide effective protection at a specific pH and that will have the capacity to maintain the pH within a narrow range when prescribed amounts of acid and base are added. This lab provides a culminating activity that ties together essential learning objectives relating to strong and weak acids, conjugate acid-base pairs, equilibrium constants and Ka values for acid-base reactions, and mole ratio and stoichiometry calculations.
Complete for 24 students working in pairs.