1. It had been shown in previous publications that the osmotic pressure of a 1 per cent solution of a protein-acid salt varies in a characteristic way with the hydrogen ion concentration of the solution, the osmotic pressure having a minimum at the isoelectric point, rising steeply with a decrease in pH until a maximum is reached at pH of 3.4 or 3.5 (in the case of gelatin and crystalline egg albumin), this maximum being followed by a steep drop in the osmotic pressure with a further decrease in the pH of the gelatin or albumin solution. In this paper it is shown that (aside from two minor discrepancies) we can calculate this effect of the pH on the osmotic pressure of a protein-acid salt by assuming that the pH effect is due to that unequal distribution of crystalloidal ions (in particular free acid) on both sides of the membrane which Donnan's theory of membrane equilibrium demands.

2. It had been shown in preceding papers that only the valency but not the nature of the ion (aside from its valency) with which a protein is in combination has any effect upon the osmotic pressure of the solution of the protein; and that the osmotic pressure of a gelatin-acid salt with a monovalent anion (e.g. Cl, NO3, acetate, H2PO4, HC2O4, etc.) is about twice or perhaps a trifle more than twice as high as the osmotic pressure of gelatin sulfate where the anion is bivalent; assuming that the pH and gelatin concentrations of all the solutions are the same.

It is shown in this paper that we can calculate with a fair degree of accuracy this valency effect on the assumption that it is due to the influence of the valency of the anion of a gelatin-acid salt on that relative distribution of the free acid on both sides of the membrane which Donnan's theory of membrane equilibrium demands.

3. The curves of the observed values of the osmotic pressure show two constant minor deviations from the curves of the calculated osmotic pressure. One of these deviations consists in the fact that the values of the ascending branch of the calculated curves are lower than the corresponding values in the curves for the observed osmotic pressure, and the other deviation consists in the fact that the drop in the curves of calculated values occurs at a lower pH than the drop in the curves of the observed values.

This content is only available as a PDF.