How are buffer solutions used?

1 Answer
Aug 14, 2014

Buffer solutions are used to keep the pH nearly constant, especially in biochemical and commercial applications.


Biochemical Applications

  • Buffers are used to run biochemical assays. For example, enzyme activity varies with pH, so you have to keep the pH constant to get accurate results.

  • Buffer solutions are used in medicines that require a constant pH.

Commercial Applications

  • Many household products use buffers. For example, adult shampoos are buffered to prevent skin irritation by components like sodium hydroxide.

  • Baby lotion is buffered to a slightly acidic pH of six. This relieves rashes by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.

  • Many paints and oils are buffered to maintain standard industrial requirements.

  • Beer, wine and liquor manufacturers often add buffers to prevent excess acidity during the fermentation process.

  • The textile industry uses buffers to keep the pH within narrow limits during dyeing and fabric processing.

  • Many laundry detergents use buffers to prevent their natural ingredients from breaking down.

Acid - Base Equilibria | Buffer Solution.