What is pH


by Winston Kao

  • [From French  p(ouvoir) h(ydrogene) lit. hydrogen power.]

So let’s start looking at chemistry from the simplest point of view.

What is pH?  It is the quantity of Hydrogen in a solution, or the concentrations of H+ (hydrogen) in a solution.

Unlike most scales which are linear scales; For example, difference between 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 all have equal distances or quantities of 10 divisions.

The pH Scale is a logarithmic scale, in other words, the difference between pH 1 & pH 2 is 10; and the difference between pH 1 & pH 3 is 100.   Example:  There is ten trillion times more hydrogen in pH 1 than there is in pH 14.

In the below chart it show the difference between:

14 pH and   1 pH is 10,000,000,000,000  H+ – - – - – - – - – - – - – - strong acid

14 pH and   2 pH is 1,000,000,000,000

14 pH and   3 pH is 100,000,000,000

14 pH and   4 pH is 10,000,000,000

14 pH and   5 pH is 1,000,000,000

14 pH and   6 pH is 100,000,000 – - – - – - – - – - – - -  weak acid

14 pH and   7 pH is 10,000,000 – - – - -  – - – an arbitrary mid point, called “neutral”

14 pH and   8 pH is 1,000,000 – - – - – - – - – - – - – weak alkaline

14 pH and   9 pH is 100,000

14 pH and  10 pH is 10,000

14 pH and  11 pH is 1,000

14 pH and  12 pH is 100

14 pH and  13 pH is 10

14 pH and  14 pH is 0- – - strong alkaline

In other words pH 1 has ten trillion times more hydrogen than pH 14.  Or pH 14 has (1x 10 to negative 14 power) (1x 10 –14[WK1] ) less hydrogen.

So for a soil pH to change from a high pH of 8 down to a pH of 5 it is not a factor of 3, but because the pH Scale is a logarithmic scale, it is a factor of 1000. Therefor one has to add 1000 times more acid to bring down the pH.  In other words one has to add 1000 times more H+.

Difference between 5 pH and 6 pH is 10

Difference between 5 pH and 7 pH is 100

Difference between 5 pH and 8 pH is 1000

Winston W. J. Kao 727-447-2344 or info@gobeyondorganic.com

Copy Right Winston W. J. Kao 2005©


2 Responses to What is pH

  1. Maximo says:

    I think that you’re really going to have to do a lot of reaesrch on your own. Most of the companies which are investing in alternative energies are either small, privately held companies or they’re larger, traditional energy companies who are looking to diversify.Another thing to consider about alternative energies is that they’re often controversial and cannot be set up anywhere. The Cape Wind project off Nantucket Sound has a lot of people up in arms against it for aesthetic reasons. Large-scale solar energy sites tend to be restricted to places that get a certain percentage of sunshine a year. And I haven’t heard of any hydrogen energy plants yet, but I expect that they’ll be forced to be located in remote locations because hydrogen is just to combustible.

    • Cape Wind project is drying up Africa!!! Wind power has a very very very BAD effect on the environment. And to cost is not that great, many wind mills in California are just standing still not making any power, they were too costly to maintain, now talk about aesthetics of ugly big fans.

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