Victoria the pH level of the reaction.

Victoria Lawson12-15-17Background ResearchBurning in the chest and throat, difficulty swallowing, and nausea are some of the many symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  For example, “According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 60 million Americans report having heartburn at least once a month, and some studies report that more than 15 million Americans have symptoms every day” (Gann).  The number of people experiencing heartburn and GERD symptoms is a large portion of the world, which leads many of them trying to find relief by consuming antacids regularly.  Antacids can be consumed in tablet or liquid form and they raise the pH level of a person’s extremely acidic stomach acid.  My science fair project is testing, “What is the effect of different amounts of antacids on pH level?”  This topic is relevant to the world today because many people consume antacids to treat heartburn and GERD, thus it is important to test how antacids affect stomach acid.  This topic was selected to learn how effective antacids work on neutralizing stomach acid and what is the pH level of the antacid and acid compound.The general science behind this project is chemistry and biology due to the experiment testing how antacids increase the pH level, thus creating a neutral acid.  Additionally, the results will show how antacids react to gastric acid inside the stomach of a human.  Antacids are commonly used to treat high amounts of gastric acid in the stomach and to treat heartburn and indigestion.  This science fair experiment will use an, “Antacid…any substance, such as sodium bicarbonate, magnesium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, or aluminum hydroxide, used to counteract or neutralize gastric acids and relieve the discomfort caused by gastric acidity” (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica).  Therefore, this experiment will use antacids made of compounds formed by common elements.  There are no mathematical formulas needed to describe the results of this experiment.  However, a pH level of seven is neutral, so a pH lower than seven is acidic and a pH above seven is basic.  The process of neutralization will be studied in this experiment by adding a weak base (antacid) to an acid and testing the pH level of the reaction. Similar experiments have been completed to learn about the effects of antacids on gastric and other acids.  Experiments have shown antacids are effective in raising the pH of gastric acid to make the acid neutral.  When the stomach produces excess gastric acid, the pH level can reach around one, however, “Antacids contain chemicals called bases, which are the opposite of acids. Normally, the base dissolves into two pieces. One piece of the base binds to the acid to form a salt. The other may bind to create water and or a gas. As a result, the pH returns to a normal level” (Blausen Medical Scientific).  Therefore, antacids can neutralize stomach acid and liquid antacids can keep gastric acid neutral for about three hours.  Liquid antacids should neutralize faster than tablets.    Magnesium and aluminum antacids are considered to have the best results because antacids that contain calcium can lower the pH of gastric acid only for a short period of time.  However, based on available research, there has been no results that support the idea that consuming more antacids than necessary will increase neutralization time or cause gastric acid to become basic.  Additionally, previous experiments have been done using hydrochloric acid or lemon juice to test antacids because they contain a pH level similar to gastric acid.The experimental question is, “What is the effect of different amounts of antacids on pH level?”  Based on similar previous research, if the amount of antacid is increased, the pH level will increase based on the efficiency of the antacid, however, the acid will never become higher than neutral.  There is no evidence that an antacid will make an acid into a base.  The pH level of the acid can become neutral depending on the antacid used.  The amount of antacid may not increase the pH level significantly, however, it can prolong the time in which the acid has a high pH level.  For example, “An antacid that raises the pH from 1.5 to 3.5 produces a 100-fold reduction in the concentration of gastric acid” (Dajani).  This is based on the type of antacid and the amount added to the acid which will increase the pH level.  If the amount of antacid is increased, then the pH level will become neutral.  The amount of antacid present in an acid will increase the pH level until it is neutral at seven, however, it will not become basic, and it will remain neutral longer. My expectation from this experiment is that antacids will increase the pH level of an acid until it becomes neutral.  The acid will not become a base, and as the amounts of antacids increase, it will not increase the pH significantly, but it will increase the neutralization time.  I expect my science fair project will produce the results supporting the hypothesis.  This experiment is important to conduct because it demonstrates how a substance that many people consume affects their body.  It is important to consider antacids are, “Available without a prescription, antacids are available in convenient chewable tablets or as a liquid.  Most are relatively inexpensive, making antacids a popular product for fast relief” (TUMS).  Additionally, it is important for people to learn the outcome of taking different amounts of antacid so they do not overdose or cause adverse side effects of consuming too much.

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