What is pH?
pH stands for the potential of hydrogen. Many of us have gone through chemistry, biology, and a few other subjects. We learned about it in chemistry at the very beginning. pH is effectively a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance. It reveals the amount of hydrogen present in liquids and the degree of hydrogen ion activity. pH is an important quantity that shows the chemical conditions of a solution. The pH values of acidic solutions are lower than those of basic or alkaline solutions.
It is a number that, on a logarithmic scale where Lower values are more acidic, higher ones are more alkaline, and the middle position indicates neutral. pH can regulate nutritional availability, biological processes, microbial behavior, and chemical sensitivity. In 1909, a Danish chemist, Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen, discovered the concept of pH to express acidity. Since chemicals in water can modify the pH, the pH is a crucial sign of a chemical change in the water.. pH is reported in logarithmic units, and each number represents a 10-fold change in the water's acidity or basicness. Water with a pH of five is about ten times more acidic than water with a pH of six.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a certain substance is. The pH scale has values ranging from zero, which is the most acidic, to 14, which is the most basic. One Hundred and Ten years ago, Danish chemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen developed this pH scale.
Our lives have also been made easier by using the PH scale. It determines if a substance is basic, acidic, or alkaline. We also know the correct use of substances.
Importance of 'pH knowledge' for human
The kidneys and lungs regulate the pH of the blood. They are the two main organs that help in regulating the blood pH. The lungs can rapidly regulate blood pH by exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen.
The respiratory system and the renal system help chemically. If the blood pH level increase or decreases even a little bit, this can cause irritation, pain, and other medical issues. If the blood pH is too high or too low, that can cause severe problems in the body.
Factors like carbon dioxide, relative electrolyte concentrations, and total weak acid concentrations can cause the blood pH level to changes in the body if any of these factors change. Hence, this can cause diseases or other medical problems.
The pH level of blood starts to fall just as glucose utilization in the brain's cells becomes impaired due to not eating proper food (that contains nutrients) and not taking care of the internal parts of the body. Low blood pH can lead to body weakness, pain, drowsiness, stupor, weakness, decreased energy, coma, or even death in a coma when it is too severe and difficult to control.
So, it is wiser to maintain some healthy habits and keep the pH level of blood normal, not too high or not too low. The blood pH can easily be controlled by only eating healthy food with nutrients, microbial activity in the body, and the behavior of different chemicals acting and their effects inside our body.
Types of pH Meter
Some types of pH meters can be used to measure different kinds of substances, and the names are:
- Water pH Meter
- Field pH Meter
- Soil pH Meter
- Food pH Meter
- Industrial pH Meter
Methods of measuring pH
There are a few methods of measuring pH:
Colorimetric methods use indicator solutions or papers,
The more accurate electrochemical methods use electrodes and a millivoltmeter which is a pH meter.
Antimony electrode method
Semiconductor sensor methods
But the most accurate ones are pH meters that measure a solution's pH by measuring the electrical potential difference between the pH electrode and a reference electrode. These are mainly used by scientists or chemists who work with substances.
History of pH
The concept of pH was first discovered in 1909 at Carlsberg Laboratory by Sørensen.In order to modify the definitions and measurements in electrochemical cells, it was changed to the contemporary pH in 1924. He also invented a crucial diagnostic tool, the pH scale, present in the basics of chemistry. The first electronic method for measuring pH was developed by Arnold Orville Beckman. He was a professor at the California Institute of Technology in 1934.