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Dissociation of sodium chloride in water

This figure shows a crystal lattice of sodium chloride interacting with water to form a hydrated sodium ion and a hydrated chloride ion.
Notice that the crystals of sodium chloride dissociate not into molecules of NaCl, but into Na + cations and Cl anions, each completely surrounded by water molecules.

Many other salts are important in the body. For example, bile salts produced by the liver help break apart dietary fats, and calcium phosphate salts form the mineral portion of teeth and bones.

Acids and bases

Acids and bases, like salts, dissociate in water into electrolytes. Acids and bases can very much change the properties of the solutions in which they are dissolved.


An acid    is a substance that releases hydrogen ions (H + ) in solution ( [link] a ). Because an atom of hydrogen has just one proton and one electron, a positively charged hydrogen ion is simply a proton. This solitary proton is highly likely to participate in chemical reactions. Strong acids are compounds that release all of their H + in solution; that is, they ionize completely. Hydrochloric acid (HCl), which is released from cells in the lining of the stomach, is a strong acid because it releases all of its H + in the stomach’s watery environment. This strong acid aids in digestion and kills ingested microbes. Weak acids do not ionize completely; that is, some of their hydrogen ions remain bonded within a compound in solution. An example of a weak acid is vinegar, or acetic acid; it is called acetate after it gives up a proton.

Acids and bases

This figure shows four beakers containing different liquids.
(a) In aqueous solution, an acid dissociates into hydrogen ions (H + ) and anions. Nearly every molecule of a strong acid dissociates, producing a high concentration of H + . (b) In aqueous solution, a base dissociates into hydroxyl ions (OH ) and cations. Nearly every molecule of a strong base dissociates, producing a high concentration of OH .


A base    is a substance that releases hydroxyl ions (OH ) in solution, or one that accepts H + already present in solution (see [link] b ). The hydroxyl ions (also known as hydroxide ions) or other basic substances combine with H + present to form a water molecule, thereby removing H + and reducing the solution’s acidity. Strong bases release most or all of their hydroxyl ions; weak bases release only some hydroxyl ions or absorb only a few H + . Food mixed with hydrochloric acid from the stomach would burn the small intestine, the next portion of the digestive tract after the stomach, if it were not for the release of bicarbonate (HCO 3 ), a weak base that attracts H + . Bicarbonate accepts some of the H + protons, thereby reducing the acidity of the solution.

The concept of ph

The relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution can be indicated by its pH. A solution’s pH    is the negative, base-10 logarithm of the hydrogen ion (H + ) concentration of the solution. As an example, a pH 4 solution has an H + concentration that is ten times greater than that of a pH 5 solution. That is, a solution with a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a solution with a pH of 5. The concept of pH will begin to make more sense when you study the pH scale, like that shown in [link] . The scale consists of a series of increments ranging from 0 to 14. A solution with a pH of 7 is considered neutral—neither acidic nor basic. Pure water has a pH of 7. The lower the number below 7, the more acidic the solution, or the greater the concentration of H + . The concentration of hydrogen ions at each pH value is 10 times different than the next pH. For instance, a pH value of 4 corresponds to a proton concentration of 10 –4 M, or 0.0001M, while a pH value of 5 corresponds to a proton concentration of 10 –5 M, or 0.00001M. The higher the number above 7, the more basic (alkaline) the solution, or the lower the concentration of H + . Human urine, for example, is ten times more acidic than pure water, and HCl is 10,000,000 times more acidic than water.

Questions & Answers

circulatory system on blood pressure
Lakhu Reply
What is ELISA
(enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) is a test that uses antibodies and color change to identify a substance.
what's defense mechanism?
psychological strategies that are unconsciously used to protect a person from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts or feelings.
difference between apocrine sweat glands and merocrine sweat glands
Binkheir Reply
I believe the apocrine sweat gland uses a sac under the hair follicle and the merocrine sweat gland releases directly on to the surface of the skin
normal blood volume in our body
pankaj Reply
Normal blood volume in adults is 6 litres
4.7 to 5ltr.. normal for adult
what are the advantages of the concave shape of red blood cells?
Amy Reply
This structure is VERY flexible. It can allow these cells to get into the most tiny places in our bodies. a VERY good design! The advantage of red blood cells' biconcave shape is that the surface area is increased to allow more haemoglobin to be stored in the cell.
They can stack so that they can move to capillaries
action of gluteus medius and minimus
Green Reply
Lateral rotation of the hip joint
Briefly explain location of ecg on a patient
Prince Reply
it is a machine that gives a graphical representation of heart beat
Briefly explain location of ecg leads on a patient?
in ecg we use electrical leads over the chest ,ancle and wrist
what is the anatomical and function difference between paravertebral and prevertebral ganglia ?
Rada Reply
types of tissue in human
Preety Reply
charactetistic Of cartilaginous tissue
what is theRecurrent infection?
pankaj Reply
what do you mean about recurrent infection
Recurrent or persistent infection is a manifestation of primary immuno deficiency
weakens the immune system, allowing infections and other health problems to occur more easily
lysis of RBC
What is barometric pressure
Kedha's Reply
what is the agglutination advantage
Gopal Reply
the functions of the liver
Nana Reply
it produces bile juice which is used to make the food smaller
it also plays an important role in conversion of amino acid into urea
it also has role in gluconeogenesis in which amino acids and lipids convert into glucose.
during fetal life it's a center for hemopoiesis (formation of blood cells)
it filters, or removes, harmful substances from the blood
It stores nutrients, such as vitamins and iron,for the body
what is the largest gland in human body
Shahid Reply
thyroid gland
thyroid is largest endocrine gland
describe microscopic structures of the kidney
Nana Reply
kidney is covered by fibrous capsule, consists of an outer cortex and inner medulla with medullary pyramids. The microscopic structure is seen as 1-2 millions of nephrons and collecting tubule.

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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