Knowing the pH value is useful and sometimes critical in chemical laboratory studies. Innovations in instrumentation and detection have resulted in several applications that run pH measurements. A pH meter is the most common device used to read the pH value of a given substance. It is highly useful in measuring the pH of fluids, semi-solids, and other substances.
What does pH mean?
Although there is no definitive record of what pH stands for, it is generally used to indicate ‘potential of hydrogen’ or ‘power of hydrogen’. So, the pH of any substance is an indication of how many hydrogen ions it has to a certain volume of water. To make matters more complex, the exact definition of pH is arrived at after subtracting the logarithm of the hydrogen ion activity remaining in a solution.
How to Read pH Meter?
That brings us to the question – how can you read a pH meter? Well, it is somewhat simple. If you have a pH meter at hand, that is. Suppose you wish to know the pH value of water. All you need to do is collect the water and put it into the water.
If the water is acidic, there will be a large number of hydrogen ions and few hydroxide ions. However, if the water is alkaline, it will be vice versa. Suppose that a thimble full of water returned a pH of one. But there will be one million times (10 to the power of 6, expressed as 106) more hydrogen ions in it if the water were neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline), with a pH of 7.
This is because a pH of 1 means 101 (or 10), and a pH of 7 means 107 (or 10 million). Dividing the two gives us 106 (one million). So, there will be 10 million million (or 1013) more hydrogen ions than if the water was extremely alkaline, with a pH of 14.
Reading a pH Meter
It could be confusing when the numbers run into millions and billions. To simplify matters, we use a few selected logarithms of various hydrogen ions and refer to the power of 10 we obtain in each. In other words, to find the pH values, we have to look at the number of hydrogen ions, taking the power of ten, and remove the minus sign from it.
So, that will give us a pH value of one for highly acidic, a pH value of seven for the neutral, and a pH value of 14 for very alkaline substances. The more alkaline a substance is, the weaker its acidic property is.
Using a pH meter
It is important to calibrate the pH meter before each use. You cannot expect to get accurate results without a properly calibrated machine. Hence you must calibrate it.
Using a well-calibrated machine makes sure you get the correct pH reading. If you are looking for reliable pH meters and other measuring equipment for your business at affordable prices, click here.