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Topic 3: Analysis Lesson 4: Titration

What you need to know: 1. Understand the principle of titration. 2. Understand the steps in a basic titration experiment.

The purity of a chemical is extremely important as without knowing the purity of a chemical we cant use it with confidence in reactions . Humans need to know the purity of objects that we use on a day to day basis. For example in medicines that you use, the chemicals inside must be very pure as otherwise they can make you sick instead of making you better! A titration can be used as a quantitative technique to measure the concentration, and purity of chemicals that are to be used. In your exam you might be asked why the purity of a chemical is important. In titration an alkali (of known pH and concentration) is added to an acid to see how much alkali is needed to neutralise the acid. By measuring precisely the amount of alkali needed to neutralize the acid, the purity of the acid can be calculated. So for example if we needed to test the purity of a sample of hydrochloric acid, we could neutralize it by adding sodium hydroxide: Acid + alkali HCl(aq) + NaOH There are 5 steps in titration: 1. Fill a burette (or a pipette) with the alkali sodium hydroxide. The concentration of the sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is known and the starting volume is recorded. The sodium hydroxide we will use will have a concentration of 0.2 g/dm3. 2. Accurately weigh out a sample of a solid hydrochloric acid. Dissolve your sample of acid in distilled water. 3. Use a pipette to accurately measure out an amount of the dissolved hydrochloric acid (HCl) and add some indicator called phenolpthalein. We will use 25cm3 of HCl. This time we will use an indicator that remains colourless in acid, but turns green in a neutral solution. salt + water NaCl(aq) + H2O(l)

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4. Add the alkali from the burette drop by drop. You need to keep swirling the mixture to ensure that the acid and the alkali mix well. When the indicator turns green you can see that the acid has been neutralised. This is called the end point. You can read off the amount of alkali that has been added to neutralise the acid. In this experiment 20cm3 of sodium hydroxide has been needed to neutralize the acid. 5. By knowing the amount of the alkali sodium hydroxide needed to neutralize the hydrochloric acid, you can then calculate the concentration of the acid. To do this we can use the equation:

Which we can rearrange to calculate the concentration of the acid:

Concentration of acid = 0.16 g/dm3

In your exam you may be asked to describe the process of titration and how it can be used to calculate the concentration of an acid. You may also need to calculate the concentration of an acid using the method above.

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Recap: 1. Titration is a quantitative process that can be used to test the purity and concentrations of chemicals. 2. In a typical titration a burette is used to add accurate amounts of an alkali to an acid that we wish to test. 3. By knowing the volume of acid used and the concentration and volume of alkali used in the reaction the concentration of the acid can be calculated.

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