Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    HCO3- as a Buffer

    Not what you're looking for? Search our solutions OR ask your own Custom question.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    I need to understand the buffering system within the blood of HCO3- which is linked to the reversible reaction H2CO3 <=> CO2 + H20

    I need a step by step explanation of what happens when we, for example, hyperventilate. Which reaction goes towards where and why, by going there, is there buffering and thus maintenance of the pH in blood?

    Also what role does HPO4^2- play in the buffering process? Is it similar? What are the analogous equations?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com March 5, 2021, 12:22 am ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview


    Acids are substances that lose ions. Bases are able to accept ions. Buffers react with acids and bases to maintain a stable pH environment. The pH is a scale of 1-14, with 7 being neutral. The body must maintain a pH range between 7.34 and 7.45. Increased Hydrogen ions (H+) lowers the pH, increasing the acidity of an environment. Decreased H+ increases the pH and increases alkalinity of an environment. The buffer system is one of the three compensatory mechanisms that the body uses to maintain a stable pH environment. The Bicarbonate Buffering System is the major system within the body. The system is composed of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is regulated by the lungs and bicarbonate (HCO3) which is regulated by the kidneys. The carbonic acid equation, which is reversible, shifts depending on the needs of the body. A left shift makes the pH decrease (more acidic); a right shift makes ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines buffering systems within the blood of HCO3- which is linked to the reversible reaction.