It’s all about hydrogen ions and water. Hydrogen, you remember, the most abundant molecule on earth, is in the upper right-hand corner of the periodic table of elements. It is just one proton and one electron. Two hydrogen molecules combine with one oxygen molecule to form water. The hydrogen ion (H+) in water has a positive charge; the mirror image chemical is the hydroxyl ion (OH-) that has a negative charge. These two ions are like a teeter-totter. When one is up, the other is down. An acid has a high concentration of hydrogen ions and a low concentration of hydroxyl ions. A base is just the opposite. Put an acid and a base together carefully because they react with vigor to make water and release a lot of energy.
To understand pH, buffers, total alkalinity, and chlorine in any body of water like a pool, spa, pond or drinking water, you have to understand hydrogen ions. [Read more…]