BioWork 4075: Making and Observing the Characteristics of a Buffer

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Buffers are solutions that are able to resist changes in pH. In this experiment, we make a buffer of equal parts acetic acid and sodium acetate, and we observe what happens when we add drops of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.

Why do we use buffers? Almost every biotech product requires a carefully maintained pH level in order to get the right results. The product may be ruined if its pH level becomes too acidic or too basic.

Caution: Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are corrosive. Always wear the appropriate PPE.

The BioWork certificate program will teach you the foundational skills you need to begin a career as a process technician for a biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing company. BioWork is offered at ten NC Community Colleges around the state. To find the one nearest you, visit