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Chemistry and Blood pH

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Maintaining blood pH: the role and control of CO2 in blood buffering.

Maintenance of blood pH is critical to life. Slight fluctuations of pH result in conditions of acidosis or alkalosis. The carbonate buffer system is a key factor in controlling the pH. In this assignment you are to combine several key concepts in explaining this system.

Write an equilibrium equation for the reaction of CO2 with water to produce carbonic acid and then bicarbonate and H+.

Discuss how CO2 is produced and exchanged in the blood. In this discussion relate the exchange to Hess's law. Also discuss how increases or decreases in CO2 affect the equation you wrote in the first part of this assignment (Le Chatelier's Principle).

With regard to the lungs discuss how CO2 and O2 exchange. Relate this discussion to Dalton's law of partial pressure.

Assuming a total air pressure of 760 mm Hg, and a concentration of CO2 of 0.04% in air. What is the partial pressure of the CO2?

Normal blood pH is 7.4, what is the H3O+ concentration? What is the H3O+ concentration whent the pH is 7.2? When the pH is 7.2 is the equilibrium in question 1 shifted to the left or the right.

Please provide the references for any information you utilize.

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Solution Preview

The equilibrium equation can be shown as such:
CO2 + H2O <--> H2CO3

Carbonic Acid is diprotic, that is it has two hydrogens which disassociate. The first dissociation is:
H2CO3 <--> HCO3 <--> + H+

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gaseous waste product made from metabolism. Metabolism refers to all of the chemical processes that take place in the body, such as the burning of sugars (glucose) for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food. Metabolism results in growth, the elimination of waste products (in ...

Solution Summary

Over 300 words, illustrated by equations, relate lungs to Dalton's law of partial pressure.