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# DETERMINATION OF COPPER (II) CONCENTRATION BY

COLORIMETRIC METHOD

N. D. E. SILAVA

ABSTRACT

## The experiment was done to determine the Cu (II) concentration in a sample

by using a Spectrophotometer and by applying Beer’s law. A calibration curve was
obtained by plotting the absorbance against concentration of the standard Cu(II)
solution and the concentration of the unknown solution was determined using the
equation of the line of the calibration curve. Calculated concentration of unknown
sample yielded a 13% deviation which meant that colorimetry yielded acceptable
results. Results obtained were in agreement with Beer’s law stating that
absorbance is directly proportional to concentration.

## INTRODUCTION called the Beer-Lambert law, the

Bouger-Beer law or more simply,
Colorimetry is defined as the Beer’s law. which is given by
method of trace analysis that involves
absorption of radiations having -log(T)=-log(I/Io)=εbc=A
frequencies in the visible spectrum.
 this is done using a Where T is the transmittance of the
Spectrophotometer that transmits beam or the fraction of the incident
radiation from a source through a radian power transmitted by the
sample cell and into a detector which sample (I/Io), “ε” is the molar
measures the absorbance of the absorptivity and is replaced by the
sample.  The wavelength of
symbol “a” if concentration is given in
radiation absorbed depends on the
identity and amount of substance grams/liter. “b” is the path length , “c”
present in the sample.  The is the concentration of the sample and
relationship between these factors is “A” is the absorbance.   

1
In this experiment, a UV-Vis Cu2+→Cu(NH3)42+ (deep blue) 
spectrophotometer was used for the
analysis of the sample. First, solutions The values of absorbance (A) for a
of 0 ml, 2 ml, 4 ml, 6 ml 8 ml and 10 2500 ppm Cu (II) standard solution
ml were taken from a 2500 ppm were then measured.
working solution and placed in 6 50
Volume Std(ml) Cu (II) ppm Absorbance
ml-volumetric flasks. 10 ml ammonia
2 100 0.082
solution was added to each flask and 4 200 0.17
then diluted to mark. The blank 6 300 0.268
8 400 0.366
solution was put in a plastic cuvette
10 500 0.456
and into the spectrophotometer to
minimize the error caused by the
reflected light  then the analytical
wavelength was set by using the most Table 1. Absorbance of solution
concentrated working standard. The It was Absorbance was then plotted
versus Concentration in parts per
calibration curve was then prepared
million (ppm) and the equation of the
by using the prepared solutions and line was determined. It was necessary
plotting their Absorbance (A) vs to use absorbance rather than
Concentration (ppm Cu). Then, a transmittance since absorption peaks
sample of unknown concentration was appear as deep valleys in a
obtained from the instructor and 3 transmittance plot whereas an
absorbance readings were taken and absorbance plot would produce a
linear result. 
the concentration was determined.
Thus, it can be said that this
experiment was done to determine the
concentration of Cu (II) ions in a Figure 1. Calibration curve
sample by taking the absorbance and
using Beer’s law to compute the
concentration. Then concentration (x) was expressed
in terms of (y) giving a working
equation

## This determined the concentration of

The determined analytical
the unknown solution given a value for
wavelength (λ) was 606nm for absorbance (Y). It could be said that
optimum absorption. The blank the experimental points obey Beer’s
solution was then used to reset the law since they lie on a straight line,
values and take into account the giving a slope that represents the
transmitted radiation lost due to product of the molar absorptivity “ε”
scattering, reflection, etc. Ammonia and the path/cell length “b”. [4 ] A 6
ml aliquot of the sample was obtained
was then added to the samples since
and diluted to 50 ml. 3 Absorbance
Cu is weakly colored to be measured readings were taken using the same
and thus, the ammonia reacts with the UV-Vis Spectrophotometer 
copper to form a deep blue complex.

2
become significant at higher
concentrations  since the refractive
Trial Absorbance Concentration (ppm) index for the absorbed radiation is
1 0.138 169.7777778
2 0.139 170.8888889
changed at high concentrations. Thus
3 0.139 170.8888889 Beer’s law is ideally applicable to
Average 0.139 170.5185185 solutions with concentrations below
1x10-2 M  that is why parts per
million (ppm) is used to indicate the
Table 2. Absorbance of Unknown concentration of Cu(II). Also, Beer;s law
sample applies to as solution that may contain
more than one kind of absorbing
substance provided that there is no
Trial Concentration of Unknown Sol'n (ppm) interaction between them. Chemical
1 1415 deviations upon dilution are also
2 1424
3 1424
possible, leading to lesser actual
Average 1421 concentration in some substances like
the chromate ion. Also, there are
also instrumental limitations to
consider: Stray radiation reaching the
Table 3. Cu (II) Concentration of
detector, sensitivity changes and
Unknown Solution
power fluctuation. Fourth is when a
The calculated value of concentration
band of wavelengths is used rather
of the Unknown Solution gives us a
than monochromatic radiation  that
13.68% deviation from the theoretical
causes the detector to measure
value of 1250 ppm, as disclosed by the
average intensity instead of the
instructor. Analysis of the data of the
other groups was done and a pooled
source of error is the cuvette has
standard deviation value of 0.524 was
fingerprints, affecting the transmitted
obtained. This shows that the values
radiation ang causing errors in the
obtained experimentally were precise.
Absorbance.
The shape of the calibration
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
curve often depends on the bandwidth.
That was why the wavelength range It could be said that Absorbance
needed to be scanned to determine is directly proportional to the
the best analytical wavelength for Concentration of the substance by
analysis. At this wavelength, change in virtue of Beer’s law and was affirmed
absorbance with concentration is at a by the experiment performed using a
maximum, thus yielding greater UV-Vis Spectrophotometer. The
sensitivity and higher accuracy. experiment was taken to be a success
Second, molar absorptivity is constant given the small value of the Pooled
at this band. Standard Deviation for the experiment.
It was suggested that more accurate
However, Beer’s law is also
subject to limitations. First, deviations

3
results would be obtained if a quartz 2500mgL×0.002L.05L=100 ppm
cuvette was used.

REFERENCES
B. Concentration (x) from linear
 Pickering, William F. 1966. equation given absorbance (y)
“Fundamental Principles of Chemical
Analysis”. Elsevier Publishing x=y+yinterceptslopeppm
Company. Take absorbance = 0.138
 Klingenberg, Joseph. 1965. x=0.138+0.01480.0009 = 169.78 ppm
“Introduction to Quantitative
Chemistry”. Reinhold Publishing Group

##  Pecsok, Robert, et al. 1976. C. Average Concentration and

“Modern Method of Chemical Analysis, Absorbance
2nd edition”. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
(Trial1+Trial2+Trial3)/3
 Bauman, Robert. 1962. “Absorption
Spectroscopy”. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 169.78+170.89+170.893=170.52ppm

##  Skoog, Douglas. 1962

“Fundamentals of Analytical
D. Concentration of Unkown
Chemistry” Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
Solution
Inc.
Concentration sample×Vdiluted
sol'nVolumeAliquot=ppm

## Take Concentration Sample = 169.78

ppm

169.78 ppm×0.05L0.006L=1415ppm

## Take L sol’n = 2 ml 1421-12501250×100=13.68%

4
D. Pooled Standard Deviation

## Spooled=√((i=1n1Xi-X12+j=1n2Xi- V working Cu ppm Absorbanc

X22+k=1n3Xk-X32)/(n1+n2+n3+…- std mL e
ns))
2 100 0.082
0.823045267+0.823045267+09- 4 200 0.17
3=0.524
6 300 0.268

8 400 0.366

10 500 0.456

Sample Analysis

Aliquot 6
froms
Stock

Diluted 50
Unknown

## Trial Absorba Concentra

nce tion (ppm)

1 0.138 169.77777
78

2 0.139 170.88888
89
RAW DATA
3 0.139 170.88888
GROUP A 89

## Average 0.138666 170.51851

Team A 6 mL
667 85

Max λ 606.0 nm

Calibration Curve

Concentra 2500
tion ppm: GROUP B

5
Team B 11 ml

333
max 599
wavelengt
h

Calibration
Curve GROUP C

Concentra 2500
tion ppm:
Team C 14 mL

## V working Cu ppm Absorbance

std mL Max λ 602.0 nm

2 100 0.093

## 4 200 0.18 Calibration

Curve
6 300 0.281
Concentratio 2500
8 400 0.365 n ppm:
10 500 0.458

## V working Cu ppm Absorban

Sample std mL ce
Analysis 2 100 0.085
Aliquot 11 4 200 0.183
froms
Stock 6 300 0.273

## Diluted 50 8 400 0.372

Unknown 10 500 0.457

## Trial Absorba Concentrati Sample

nce on Analysis
1 0.26 289.8888889 Aliquot 14
2 0.259 288.7777778 froms Stock

6
Unknown

ce ation

1 0.32 362.11111
11

2 0.32 362.11111
11

3 0.32 362.11111
11

11