1. It is well known that neutral salts depress the osmotic pressure, swelling, and viscosity of protein-acid salts. Measurements of the P.D. between gelatin chloride solutions contained in a collodion bag and an outside aqueous solution show that the salt depresses the P.D. in the same proportion as it depresses the osmotic pressure of the gelatin chloride solution.
2. Measurements of the hydrogen ion concentration inside the gelatin chloride solution and in the outside aqueous solution show that the difference in pH of the two solutions allows us to calculate the P.D. quantitatively on the basis of the Nernst formula
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if we assume that the P.D. is due to a difference in the hydrogen ion concentration on the two sides of the membrane.
3. This difference in pH inside minus pH outside solution seems to be the consequence of the Donnan membrane equilibrium, which only supposes that one of the ions in solution cannot diffuse through the membrane. It is immaterial for this equilibrium whether the non-diffusible ion is a crystalloid or a colloid.
4. When acid is added to isoelectric gelatin the osmotic pressure rises at first with increasing hydrogen ion concentration, reaches a maximum at pH 3.5, and then falls again with further fall of the pH. It is shown that the P.D. of the gelatin chloride solution shows the same variation with the pH (except that it reaches its maximum at pH of about 3.9) and that the P.D. can be calculated from the difference of pH inside minus pH outside on the basis of Nernst's formula.
5. It was found in preceding papers that the osmotic pressure of gelatin sulfate solutions is only about one-half of that of gelatin chloride or gelatin phosphate solutions of the same pH and the same concentration of originally isoelectric gelatin; and that the osmotic pressure of gelatin oxalate solutions is almost but not quite the same as that of the gelatin chloride solutions of the same pH and concentration of originally isoelectric gelatin. It was found that the curves for the values for P.D. of these four gelatin salts are parallel to the curves of their osmotic pressure and that the values for pH inside minus pH outside multiplied by 58 give approximately the millivolts of these P.D.
In this preliminary note only the influence of the concentration of the hydrogen ions on the P.D. has been taken into consideration. In the fuller paper, which is to follow, the possible influence of the concentration of the anions on this quantity will have to be discussed.