Chemical Equilibrium In The Human Body

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What are chemical equilibriums? These are systems where the forward and reverse reactions occur at equal rates, meaning that the reaction rates of each the forward and reverse reactions are equal. What one may now ask is what the importance of a chemical equilibrium has on the human body. In this essay, I will be talking about the chemical equilibrium in our blood and the chemical equilibrium in our respiratory system, while explaining the reaction kinetics. One importance of chemical equilibrium reaction is that it helps the blood to control it’s pH level, which is between 7.35-7.45. If it were to be that the state of the blood changes to slightly alkalosis or acidosis, one would probably gain critical health problems and a possibility…show more content…
During physical exercises, muscles may produce lactic acid if the work is intensive. The lactic acid thereafter donates a hydrogen ion to the water in the blood to create hydronium. As the system is at inbalance,the equation will be shifted to the left do decrease the concentration of hydronium. Furthermore, if one has an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood, more hydrogen ions will be produced and an increased concentration of hydrogen ions will cause the pH to lower, a change in pH will have to occur. With taking Le Chatelier’s Principle in consideration, “the position of the equilibrium of a system changes to minimise the effect of any imposed change in conditions”. Therefore, in this system, the amount of hydrogen ions which are needed will associate with bicarbonate to form carbonic acid as pH= pK - log( [CO2] / [ HCO3^-]…show more content…
Haemoglobin is responsible for the transportation of oxygen to cells in order to carry out aerobic respiration. The following equation, Hb (aq) + 4O 2 (g) ⇋ Hb(O 2 ) 4 (aq), is the equilibrium between Hemoglobin(Hb) and Oxygen(O). In areas with high concentration of oxygen, the position of the equilibrium shifts to the right and vice versa for area where the concentration of oxygen is low However, this condition alters with environmental conditions and therefore, one can see the importance of a chemical equilibrium in the human body. There are certain “elevations” above sea level, where the air pressured is lower. Thus, the oxygen concentration in the air decreases which in turn decreases our ability to obtain oxygen . According to Le Chatelier’s Principle, this results in a shifting to the left, which is away from the oxygenated hemoglobin. This is a reason for why oxygen tanks are needed for those people who have for example, low haemoglobin level. In this case, an equilibrium is reached by obtaining oxygen, which shifts the equilibrium back to right, in order to eliminate the disturbance according to Le Chateliers Principle. This equilibrium has in one sense restricted us humans on where we can be in the Earth, such as high and very low altitudes. However, humans have developed several ways to counter this restriction, but with external help such as

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