The simplest definition of a buffer is a solution that resists changes in hydrogen ion concentration as a result of internal and environmental factors. Buffers essentially maintain pH for a system. The effective buffering range of a buffer is a factor of its pKa, the dissociation constant of the weak acid in the buffering system. Many things, such as changes in temperature or concentration, can affect the pKa of a buffer.
In 1966, Norman Good and colleagues set out to define the best buffers for biochemical systems. Good set forth several criteria for such buffers: Continue reading “What Makes a “Good” Buffer?”