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Volatile acid:

Referring to equation 4 we see that CO \ensuremath{_2} combines with water to form carbonic acid. The carbonic acid then dissassociates into HCO \ensuremath {_3^-} and [H \ensuremath{^+}]. About 15 thousand millemoles of CO \ensuremath{_2} are produced per day. This corresponds to 10 millemoles of CO \ensuremath{_2} per minute. The lung can remove CO \ensuremath{_2} at a rate of 10-15 mmol per minute, so that potential 10 millemoles of acid that could be created from CO \ensuremath{_2} per minute are easily eliminated. In contrast the kidney can only secrete 0.4 millemoles per minute of [H \ensuremath{^+}] under optimal conditions.

Adrian P. Ireland