Our group discussed about the possible topics we could research on, based on the topic given to us – acid and bases. Each of us took turns to come up with some secondary research on the impact of acid/bases on our society. We narrowed down to three broad ideas:
Idea 1: acids are found in things we consume everyday. some of these acid reactions are beneficial to us, while others have led to problems in society. some are true, while some are myths.
Elaboration: for example, citric acid is largely beneficial as it ensures many of us meet our recommended daily intake of vitamin c, it also acts as a preservative and buffer in much of the processed food we consume, keeping it fresh for longer.
however, a lot of blame has been placed on the acid in soft drinks for causing a lot of health problems in society. firstly, and most obviously, acid from soda causes tooth decay. secondly, acid from soda has been thought to cause osteoporosis as well, but we will show that this is largely false
Idea 2: lets talk about lemon. http://www.vitalitylink.com/article-holistic-health-2055-lemon-juice-acidic-alkaline-body-water
Outside the body, lemon juice is acidic (pH is below 7). This is a non-issue. Everyone knows this. It’s a citrus fruit.
Inside the body however, when lemon juice has been fully metabolized and its minerals are dissociated in the bloodstream, its effect is alkalizing and therefore raises the pH of the body (pH above 7 is alkaline).
it is important for body tissue to be alkaline rather than acidic: in long-term acidic environments, normal cell structure and function are damaged. The exception to this is the stomach, where the hydrochloric acid secreted there is intended to aid in cellular digestion of food.
Idea 3: Importance of acid and bases in agriculture
The acid-base reaction is very important for farmers when keeping their soil pH at a suitable level for their farming activities to occur. Sulfuric acid, one of the most important industrial chemicals, is used to manufacture fertilizers for agriculture.
Below pH 4, the H+ ions start to damage plant root cell membranes
–> Buffering agents are extremely important
–> Monopotassium phosphate, MKP is used as a fertilizer and fungicide –> Ammonium (NH4+) fertilizers react in the soil in a process called nitrification to form nitrate (NO3−), and in the process release H+ ions.
Finally, after some discussion, we decided to amalgamate ideas 1 and 3 and set our project scope to be that.