Analytical chemistry Trinidad & Tobago Lab resources
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Preparation of pH buffer solutions


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Phosphate and Acetate buffers

The different names for phosphate salts. Standardization buffers pH 4 and pH 7. Ph range of some buffer systems. Making up buffer solutions by adding an adjuster solution (acid or base) to a known volume and concentration of a primary salt solution. Potassium hydrogen phosphate, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, disodium hydrogen phosphate, potassium hydrogen phthalate, sodium acetate,sodium tetraborate, tris aminomethane.
Related link:
Analysis Buffers
For EDTA titrations
For Fluoride (TISAB)
For Determination of Fe.
On this page: Click the links below to jump to the relevant info:

Phosphates

Phosphate salts are known by several names and the correct phosphate must be used to prepare buffer solutions.
One phosphate cannot be substituted for another phosphate. Check formula of salt to be certain.

FormulaName of saltOther names
KH2PO4potassium dihydrogen
phosphate
potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate
monobasic potassium phosphate
monopotassium phosphate
acid potassium phosphate
potassium biphosphate
K2HPO4potassium hydrogen
phosphate
dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate
dipotassium hydrogen phosphate
dibasic potassium phosphate
dipotassium phosphate
K3PO4potassium phosphatetribasic potassium phosphate
tripotassium phosphate


Standardization buffers

For pH=7.00 :
Add 29.1 ml of 0.1 molar NaOH to 50 ml 0.1 molar potassium dihydrogen phosphate.

Alternatively :
Dissolve 1.20g of sodium dihydrogen phosphate and 0.885g of disidium hydrogen phosphate in 1 liter volume distilled water.

For pH= 4.00 :
Add 0.1 ml of 0.1 molar NaOH to 50 ml of 0.1 molar potassium hydrogen phthalate .

Alternatively :
Dissolve 8.954g of disodium hydrogen phosphste.12 H2O and 3.4023g of potassium dihydrogen phosphate in 1 liter volume distilled water.


Range of common buffer systems ¹



Buffering system


Useful buffering pH range @ 25°C

Hydrochloric acid/ Potassium chloride 1.0 - 2.2
Glycine/ Hydrochloric acid 2.2 - 3.6
Potassium hydrogen phthalate/ Hydrochloric acid 2.2 - 4.0
Citric acid/ Sodium citrate 3.0 - 6.2
Sodium acetate/ Acetic acid 3.7 - 5.6
Potassium hydrogen phtaalate/ Sodium hydroxide 4.1 - 5.9
Disodium hydrogen phthalate / Sodium dihydrogen orthophospate 5.8 - 8.0
Dipotassium hydrogen phthalate / Potassium dihydrogen orthophospate 5.8 - 8.0
Potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate / sodium hydroxide 5.8 - 8.00
Barbitone sodium / Hydrochloric acid 6.8 - 9.6
Tris (hydroxylmethyl) aminomethane / Hydrochloric acid 7.0 - 9.00
Sodium tetraborate/ Hydrochloric acid 8.1 - 9.2
Glycine/ Sodium hydroxide 8.6 - 10.6
Sodium carbonate/ Sodium hydrogen carbonate 9.2 - 10.8
Sodium tetraborate/ Sodium hydroxide 9.3 - 10.7
Sodium bicarbonate / Sodium hydroxide 9.60 - 11.0
Sodium hydrogen orthophosphate / Sodium hydroxide 11.0 - 11.9
Potassium chloride/ Sodium hydroxide 12.0 - 13.0

Preparing a Buffer Solution ²

This page gives tabulated info on the preparation of buffers by mixing adjusters
with a known volume of the primary salt solution, and made up to 200ml with distilled water.

BUFFERS 1.00 - 9.00

Buffer A :
pH 1.0 - 2.2
Buffer B :
pH 2.2 - 4.00
Buffer C :
pH 4.10 - 5.90
Buffer D :
pH 5.8 - 8.00
Buffer E :
pH 7.0 - 9.00
50 ml 0.2 M KCl + mls of 0.2 M HCl 100 ml 0.1 M potassium hydrogen phthalate + mls of 0.1 M HCl. 100 ml 0.1 M potassium hydrogen phthalate + mls of 0.1 M NaOH . 100 ml 0.1 M KH2PO4 + mls of 0.1 M NaOH. 100 ml 0.1 M tris (hydroxymethyl) aminomethane + mls of 0.1 M HCl.
pH mls of 0.2M HCl added pH mls of 0.1M HCl added pH mls of 0.1M NaOH added pH mls of 0.1M NaOH added pH mls of 0.1 M HCl added
1.00 134.0 2.20 99.0 4.10 2.6 5.80 7.2 7.00 93.2
1.10 105.6 2.30 91.6 4.20 6.0 5.90 9.2 7.10 91.4
1.20 85.0 2.40 84.4 4.30 9.4 6.00 11.2 7.20 89.4
1.30 67.2 2.50 77.6 4.40 13.2 6.10 13.6 7.30 86.8
1.40 53.2 2.60 70.8 4.50 17.4 6.20 16.2 7.40 84.0
1.50 41.4 2.70 64.2 4.60 22.2 6.30 19.4 7.50 80.6
1.60 32.4 2.80 57.8 4.70 27.2 6.40 23.2 7.60 77.0
1.70 26.0 2.90 51.4 4.80 33.0 6.50 27.8 7.70 73.2
1.80 20.4 3.00 44.6 4.90 38.8 6.60 32.8 7.80 69.0
1.90 16.2 3.10 37.6 5.00 45.2 6.70 38.6 7.90 64.0
2.00 13.0 3.20 31.4 5.10 51.0 6.80 44.8 8.00 58.4
2.10 10.2 3.30 25.8 5.20 57.6 6.90 51.8 8.l0 52.4
2.20 7.8 3.40 20.8 5.30 63.2 7.00 58.2 8.20 45.8
3.50 16.4 5.40 68.2 7.10 64.2 8.30 39.8
3.60 12.6 5.50 73.2 7.20 69.4 8.40 34.4
3.70 9.0 5.60 77.6 7.30 74.0 8.50 29.4
3.80 5.8 5.70 81.2 7.40 78.2 8.60 24.4
3.90 2.8 5.80 84.6 7.50 82.2 8.70 20.6
4.00 0.2 5.90 87.4 7.60 85.6 8.80 17.0
7.70 88.4 8.90 14.0
7.80 90.6 9.00 11.4
7.90 92.2
8.00 93.4



BUFFERS 08 - 13
Buffer F: pH 8.0 - 9.10 Buffer G :
pH 9.2 - 10.80
Buffer H :
pH 9.60 - 11.00
Buffer I :
pH 10.90 - 12.00
Buffer J :
pH 12.00 - 13.00
100 mL 0.025 M Na2B4O7.10H2O (borax) + mls of 0.1 M HCl. 100 mL 0.025 M Na2B4O7.10H2O (borax) + mls of 0.1 M NaOH. 100 mL 0.05 M NaHCO3 + mls of 0.1 M NaOH. 100 mL 0.05 M Na2HPO4 + mls of 0.1 M NaOH. 50 mL 0.2 M KCl + volume indicated (in mL) 0.2 M NaOH.
pH mls of 0.1M HCl added pH mls of 0.1M NaOH added pH mls of 0.1M NaOH added pH mls of 0.1M NaOH added pH mls of 0.2M NaOH added
8.00 41.0 9.20 1.8 9.60 10.0 10.90 6.6 12.00 12.0
8.10 39.4 9.30 7.2 9.70 12.4 11.00 8.2 12.10 16.0
8.20 37.6 9.40 12.4 9.80 15.2 11.10 10.2 12.20 20.4
8.30 35.4 9.50 17.6 9.90 18.2 11.20 12.6 12.30 25.6
8.40 33.2 9.60 22.2 10.00 21.4 11.30 15.2 12.40 32.4
8.50 30.4 9.70 26.2 10.10 24.4 11.40 18.2 12.50 40.8
8.60 27.0 9.80 30.0 10.20 27.6 11.50 22.2 12.60 51.2
8.70 23.2 9.90 33.4 10.30 30.4 11.60 27.0 12.70 64.4
8.80 19.2 10.00 36.6 10.40 33.0 11.70 32.4 12.80 82.4
8.90 14.2 10.10 39.0 10.50 35.6 11.80 38.8 12.90 106.0
9.00 9.2 10.20 41.0 10.60 38.2 11.90 46.0 13.00 132.0
9.10 4.0 10.30 42.6 10.70 40.4 12.00 53.8
10.40 44.2 10.80 42.4
10.50 45.4 10.90 44.0
10.60 46.6 11.00 45.4
10.70 47.6
10.80 48.5



Acetate buffer solutions pH 3 - 6 ³


Make up the following solutions
(1) 0.1M acetic acid
(2) 0.1M sodium acetate (tri-hydrate) (13.6g / l)
Mix in the following proportions to get the required ph


ph vol. of 0.1M
acetic acid
vol. of 0.1M
sodium acetate
3 982.3 mls 17.7 mls
4 847.0 mls 153.0 mls
5 357.0 mls 643.0 mls
6 52.2 mls 947.8 mls


Phosphate buffer solutions ph 7 - 11


Make up the following solutions
(1) 0.1M disodium hydrogen phosphate (14.2g / l)
(2) 0.1M HCl
(3) 0.1M NaOH
Mix in the following proportions to get the required ph

ph vol. of phosphate vol. of 0.1M HCl vol. of 0.1M NaOH
7 756.0 mls 244 mls  
8 955.1 mls 44.9 mls  
9 955.0 mls 45.0 mls  
10 966.4 mls    
11 965.3 mls    


Addition of acid or base to a salt pH 3 - 11

Here, the primary salt is a solid and is weighed out in grams. A measured amount of 0.1M HCl or NaOH is added,
then made up to 1 liter to give the relevant buffer solution 4.

pHSalt mixture
Dilute each mixture to 1 liter solution with distilled water
310.21g potassium hydrogen phthalate and 223ml of 0.10M HCl
410.21g potassium hydrogen phthalate and 1ml of 0.10M HCl
510.21g potassium hydrogen phthalate and 226ml of 0.10M NaOH
66.81g potassium dihydrogen phOsphate and 56ml of 0.10M NaOH
76.81g potassium dihydrogen phosphate and 291ml of 0.10M NaOH
86.81g potassium dihydrogen phosphate and 467ml of 0.10M NaOH
94.77g sodium tetraborate and 46ml of 0.10M HCl
104.77g sodium tetraborate and 183ml of 0.10M NaOH
112.10g sodium bicarbonate and 227ml of 0.10M NaOH


1. The Physical and Theoretical Laboratory, Oxford University.
2. "Electrolyte solutions" Robinson, R. A., and Stokes, R. H., 2nd ed., rev. London, Butterworths, 1968.
3. "Practical chemistry" J. Lambert and T.A. Muir, 3rd. Ed. Heineman, London.
4. pdf file, www.bc.ca/bcsc/resources/ (Canadian Teachers Federation).





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Signature: Dhanlal De Lloyd, Chem. Dept, The University of The West Indies, St. Augustine campus
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
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