The pH Value: Basics of pH Measurement and Handling of pH Electrodes
The pH value, or, short: pH, is the measure of the hydrogen ion activity in aqueous solutions. The pH indicates the solution’s acidity or alkalinity. Knowledge of the pH value is important in many aspects of quality control.
What is pH and why is the determination of pH so important?
Solutions with high hydrogen ion activity H3O+ are acidic; solutions with low hydrogen ion activity are alkaline. Alteration of the pH value may cause dramatic changes in many a field and thus justifies the necessity for determining and monitoring the pH value.
The following examples point out the importance of the pH value.
- The lower the pH of blood, the lower the capacity of hemoglobin to bind oxygen.
- In agriculture, the optimum pH is a major contributing factor to yielding good harvests.
- The pH value of food may be a reliable indicator of the freshness of the food product.
- Fish tanks depend on a certain pH value to be kept constant for the well-being of fish and plants.
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