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Additional Aspects of Aqueous Equilibria

Water is the most common and most important solvent on Earth. In a sense, it is the solvent of life. It is difficult to imagine how living matter in all its complexity could exist with any liquid other than water as the solvent. Water occupies its position of importance not only because of its abundance but also because of its exceptional ability to dissolve a wide variety of substances. Aqueous solutions encountered in nature, such as biological fluids and seawater, contain many solutes. Consequently, many equilibria take place simultaneously in these solutions.

In this chapter we take a step toward understanding such complex solutions by looking first at further applications of acid-base equilibria. We then broaden our discussion to include two additional types of aqueous equilibria, those involving slightly soluble salts and those involving the formation of metal complexes in solution.

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