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Does anybody know if it is possible to gamma-irradiate a bottle of pH buffer to sterilise it? Are there any known effects (short-term or long-term) of the irradition process on the pH qualities of the buffer? This would be for a pH4 and pH7 buffer.

The other option I am considering is autoclaving, but I am told this will definitely affect the pH of the buffer solution, which I don't want.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's virtually guaranteed that you'll reach sterilising doses of gamma radiation far before you create a bulk chemical change in the solutions, especially if the buffers are made with simple inorganic oxyhydrides (phosphate buffers?). Life is chemically far more fragile than a buffer solution. Also, the fact that gamma irradiation is a safe and proven method for sterilising food for human consumption is an additional argument in your favour. That said, gamma irradiation seems overkill. I'm not sure that autoclaving would irreversibly alter the pH, again depending on your buffer. $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Jul 10 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Wonder how an autoclave would work with a solution. If the pressure was created by steam, then the container shouldn't be at risk from the start of the cycle till 121 C is reached. However once the steam stops, the pressure inside the autoclave would start to drop. However the bottle of liquid would still be near 121 C, a high enough temperature to boil at atmospheric pressure. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 13 at 16:32

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