A buffer is a substance that resists changes in pH by adding or taking away hydrogen ions. Buffers are present in the blood of organisms in order to keep it in the narrow pH range it needs to be in order for them to survive. Human blood, for example, needs to have a pH of about 7.40. If its pH drops below 7.35, acidosis occurs. If pH goes above 7.45, alkalosis occurs.
During the Buffer Lab, we tested how good of a buffer various biological (liver, potato, egg) and household (baking soda, Bufferin, Tums) substances were. Baking soda was the most effective buffer. Surprisingly, Bufferin was only the second best. Our positive control was a chemical buffer and the negative control was distilled water.