Iron and quinine citrate is used as a bitter stomachic and tonic. In the blood citrates are oxidized into carbonates; they therefore act as remote alkalis, increasing the alkalinity of the blood and thereby the general rate of chemical change within the body (see Acetic Acid).
The result of this is that the alkalinity of the sea-water increases and the hydrogen-ion concentration decreases.
The increasing temperature raises the rate of animal metabolism, while the higher alkalinity is a stimulus to cell-division.
Denitrifying bacteria will raise the alkalinity (or reduce the H-ion concentration) by forming ammonia, which will combine with the carbonic acid in solution and so throw down normal carbonate of lime.
He also traced a connexion between alkalinity, temperature and current-density, and showed that these conditions should be mutually adjusted.
Since 1851 it has been known that all sea-water has an alkaline reaction, and Torniie defined the alkalinity of sea-water as the amount of carbonic acid which is necessary to convert the excess of bases into normal carbonate.
The alkalinity of North Atlantic water of 35 per mille salinity is 26.86 cc. per litre, corresponding to a total amount of carbonic acid of 49 07 cc. According to the researches of August Krogh,' the alkalinity is greatly increased by the admixture of land water.
Ruppin's analysis of Baltic water, which has an alkalinity of 16 to 18 instead of the 5 or 6 which would be the amount proportional to the salinity, while the water of the Vistula and the Elbe with a salinity of o 1 per mille has an alkalinity of 28 or more.
Thus the alkalinity serves as an index of the admixture of river water with sea-water.
After absorption into the blood, the acetates are oxidized to carbonates, and therefore are remote alkalies, and are administered whenever it is desired to increase the alkalinity of the blood or to reduce the acidity of the urine, without exerting the disturbing influence of alkalies upon the digestive tract.
In his widely used method for the quantitative determination of carbonic acid the gaseous mixture is shaken up with baryta or lime water of known strength and the change in alkalinity ascertained by means of oxalic acid.
Hence it is of the utmost importance to avoid the use of salts of this metal whenever it is necessary - as in diabetic coma - to increase the alkalinity of the blood rapidly.
A slight degree of acidity seems more favourable to the crystallization of salt than alkalinity; thus it is a practice to add a certain amount of alum, 2 to 12 lb per pan of brine, especially when, as in fishery salt, fine crystals are required.