Volumetric analysis is a chemical analytical procedure based on measurement of volumes of reaction in solutions. It uses titration to determine the concentration of a solution by carefully measuring the volume of one solution needed to react with another. In this process, a measured volume of a standard solution, the titrant, is added from a burette to the solution of unknown concentration. When the two substances are present in exact stoichiometric ratio, the reaction is said to have reached the equivalence or stoichiometric point. In order to determine when this occurs, another substance, the indicator, is also added to the reaction mixture. This is an organic dye which changes color when the reaction is complete. This color change is known as the end point; ideally, it will coincide with the equivalence point. For various reasons, there is usually some difference between the two, though if the indicator is carefully chosen, the difference will be negligible. A typical titration is based on a reaction of the general type aA+bB → products where A is the titrant, B the substance titrated, and a:b is the stoichiometric ratio between the two. Some indicators include Litmus, Methyl Orange, Methyl Red, Phenolphthalein, and Thymol Blue. Titration can be applied to any of the following chemical reactions: • Acid–base • Complexation • Oxidation–reduction • Precipitation Only acid–base and oxidation–reduction titration will be treated here, though the fundamental principles are the same in all cases. Acid–base titration involves measuring the volume of a solution of the acid (or base) that is required to completely react with a known volume of a solution of a base (or acid). The relative amounts of acid and base required to reach the equivalence point depend on their stoichiometric coefficients. It is therefore critical to have a balanced equation before attempting calculations based on acid–base reactions. Below we define some of the common terms associated with acid–base reactions. A molar solution is one that contains one mole of the substance per liter of solution. For example, a molar solution of sodium hydroxide contains 40 g (NaOH=40 g/mol) of the solute per liter of solution. As described in chapter 13, the concentration of a solution expressed in moles per liter of solution is known as the molarity of the solution.
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