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Importance of pH in Everyday Life

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Last updated date: 22nd Mar 2024
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Importance of pH in Everyday Life: An Introduction

The pH measures how acidic/basic is a given solution. Its range is going from 0 - 14, with 7 being neutral. If the pH is less than 7 shows acidity, while a pH greater than 7 shows a base. It is actually a degree of the relative quantity of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions within the solution. It is equal to −log10 c; where c is the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per litre. Water that has greater free hydrogen ions is acidic, while water that has greater free hydroxyl ions is basic. Since pH may be affected by chemical substances within the water, pH is an essential indicator of water which is converting chemically.


The Theory of pH & Its Discovery

The pH is stated in "logarithmic units". Each range represents a 10-fold change within the acidity/basicity of the water. Water with a pH of 5 is ten times greater acidic than water having a pH of 6. It is an essential amount that displays the chemical situation of a solution. The pH can manage the supply of nutrients, biological functions, microbial activity, and the behaviour of chemicals.


The theory of pH was first added through the Danish chemist Soren Peder Lauritz Sorensen at the Carlsberg Laboratory in 1909 and revised to the present-day pH in 1924 to deal with definitions and measurements in phrases of electrochemical cells. In the primary papers, the notation had H• as a subscript to the lowercase p, thus: pH•.

The actual meaning of the letter p in "pH" is disputed, as Sorensen did not give an explanation for why he used it. Sorensen describes a manner of measuring pH using potential differences, and it represents the negative energy of 10 within the concentration of hydrogen ions. The letter p should stand for the French puissance, German Potenz, or Danish potens, which means "power", or it can mean "potential". All the phrases for those beginning with the letter p in French, German, and Danish—all languages Sorensen posted in: Carlsberg Laboratory became French-speaking, German became the dominant language of clinical publishing, and Sorensen became Danish.


pH in Our Digestive System

The pH of our belly is vital to the digestion of many nutrients and acts like the first line of protection in opposition to harmful microorganisms and viruses. The belly is a reservoir of robust acid, with a far lower pH than in other parts of our digestive system. Gastric juice or belly acid is a digestive fluid formed within the stomach lining. It is acidic as the protein-digesting enzymes of the belly including pepsin do not work properly within the primary medium so the pH is maintained from 1.5 – 3.5 within the belly. So, the pH is usually around 2.

The stomach is pretty acidic and enables the breakdown of meals for simpler digestion. This allows your body to soak up nutrients without difficulty as food transfers via your digestive tract. In order to break down the whole thing from meat too tough, fibrous plants, belly acid needs to be more acidic.

As we recognize our belly produces gastric juice which incorporates a huge quantity of hydrochloric acid (pH approximately 1.4). The acid does not damage the stomach wall due to the protective mucus layer, however, it kills germs and microorganisms which input into our digestive system together with food, therefore in a manner it protects us from illnesses and helps in the digestion process. Sometimes more acid is produced within the belly because of overeating, consuming highly spiced meals or because of abnormal food habits. This stage is known as acidity which causes gastritis. To get comfort from this pain, one needs to take antacids. These include bases to neutralise the extra acids. Examples- Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia). Mg (OH)2 or Aluminium hydroxide.


Importance of pH Scale

The pH scale is measurable to a set of standard solutions whose pH is installed through worldwide agreement. Primary pH preferred values are observed by the use of a concentration cellular with transference, by measuring the ability difference between a hydrogen electrode and a standard electrode which includes the silver chloride electrode. The pH of aqueous solutions may be measured with a glass electrode and a pH meter, or a colour-changing indicator. Measurements of pH are essential in chemistry, agronomy, medicine, water treatment, and lots of different applications.


Examples of Bases in Everyday Life

  • Sodium Bicarbonate - Baking Soda

  • Soap (A mild base)

  • Oven Cleaner

  • Drain Cleaner

  • Toothpaste

  • Bleach

  • Ammonia (Sometime found in hair products or cleaning products)

  • Washing Powder

  • Cement

  • Calcium Hydroxide - Slaked lime

  • A lot of cleaning products are bases.


Examples of Acids in Everyday Life

  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid which is found inside our body in gastric juice.

  • Acetic Acid for example vinegar.

  • Ascorbic or Citric Acid.

  • Carbonic Acid.

  • Sulphuric Acid.

  • Tartaric Acid


Interesting Facts

  • Currently, in chemistry, the p stands for "decimal logarithm of", and is likewise used within the word pKa, used for acid dissociation constants and pOH, the same for hydroxide ions.

  • Any aqueous solution can be classified as an acid, base, or neutral. Oils and some other non-aqueous liquids are either acids or bases.

  • Combining a base with an acid neutralizes the acid.

  • Stomach acid stimulates the inactive enzymes secreted in the belly which helps in the chemical digestion of meals.

Key Features

  • The pH stands for the potential of hydrogen.

  • For the sign p, Sorensen recommends the name 'hydrogen ion exponent' and the image pH•. Then, for the hydrogen ion exponent (pH•) of a solution, the negative range of the Briggsian logarithm of the associated hydrogen ion normality factor is to be understood.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science

FAQs on Importance of pH in Everyday Life

1. Why is it important to determine the pH of different substances?

Determination of pH is important because pH can control the availability of nutrients, microbial activity, the behaviour of chemicals and biological functions that helps us to find the nature of the substance.

2. Why is pH important in the human body?

The pH is important in the human body because pH keeps the body functioning optimally. The ideal pH of the body is alkaline which helps in biochemical reactions like oxygenating the blood. Keeping the pH balance in body is very important for the overall health of an individual.

3. What is used to determine the actual pH value of a substance?

pH test papers are used to determine the actual pH value of a substance which gives us an idea about the nature of the substance. pH scale is a tool to measure acids and bases that ranges from 0-14.