When Dr. Farrell was a graduate student, he once made up a pH 8.0 sodium acetate buffer. Why would the casual observer to this buffering faux pas come to the conclusion that he had the intellectual agility of a small soap dish?

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  1. Try this for size. There may be other reasons why this is not such a good buffer for pH = 8.0
    pH = pKa + log (base/acid)
    8.0 = 4.76 + log (base/acid)
    8-4.76 = 3.24 = log (base/acid)
    B/A = 1,738; therefore,
    base (acetate in this case) = 1,738(A). Thus suppose we start with 1 mol acetic acid (A), then acetate mut be 1,738 mols. Could you dissolve almost 2 kmol sodium acetate (is that about 142 kg?) in 60 g acetic acid.

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  2. no

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