Why is alkalinity an important parameter in environmental water analysis?
Its not just pH
Answer: Alkalinity is a measure of the acid-neutralizing or buffering capacity of a solution. The properties of water are is easily influenced by alkalinity, making it an important and widely used test. If any changes are made to a solution which could impact pH, alkalinity acts a buffer. This ability to neutralize acid (H+ ions) is what makes alkalinity so important. Hydroxides (OH-), carbonates (CO3 2-), and bicarbonates (HCO3 -) are the primary contributors to the pH buffering capacity. Buffering capacity can be characterized by the absorption of positively charged hydrogen ions by negatively charged bicarbonate and carbonate molecules, resulting in a shift in the equilibrium without causing a substantial change in the pH. Therefore, a sample with high alkalinity will have a greater resistance to changes in pH. Click here to learn more about the importance of alkalinity and the solutions MANTECH can provide.
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