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There has always been a battle between the academic subjects amongst students as to which holds the utmost importance. Well, the race neither has a finishing line nor a winner to cross it. It will be unfair to judge the academic subjects as each subject has a whole different identity and opportunities. We move forward with what we like.

Chemistry has always fascinated me with its versatility. You can see, touch, experiment, and feel it everywhere in the surroundings. No matter how theoretical organic chemistry is or complex the physical chemistry is, we all have enjoyed at least one of them. The interesting and inquisitive part has been the experiments that this subject demands. The subject has a simple demand – you have to practically implement whatever you learn. This is the reason why we all have been to the scary chemistry labs where you can see all the chemicals, smell most of them and touch a few of them.

Experiments are important and have helped us to understand efficiently what we learn. Today we are going to talk about a fun yet tedious experiment we all have been through- Titration. Learn everything about titration below and reminiscence the hard work you did for the desired result.

Before jumping to the definitions and types of titration, have a look at the following essential terms.

 

Titrant

The titrant is a simple solution, also known as a reagent which is one of the main requirements in the process of titration. It is a solution which is added to the burette to determine the concentration of an unknown solution. The titrant is a solution with known concentration and when used in the process of titration gives the concentration of an unknown solution. In many textbooks, you will also find titrator or standard solution instead of the titrant. The titrant is poured into the burette and pipette.

Titrand

Titrate can be defined as the substance whose concentration or constituents are to be determined or analyzed by the process of titration.

Endpoint

The endpoint is the point in the process of titration when the indicator changes the color. It can also be understood as the point when the indicator indicates that the solution has been added with the desired amount of reactants for a complete reaction.

Titration

Titration can be defined as a technique to determine the quantitative chemical analysis in the laboratory. It is a process used to determine the unknown concentration of a known solution by the addition of a solution to it whose concentration is known until the desired reaction takes place.

In other words, when you want to determine the concentration of an unknown solution, Titration should be the answer.

Why titration?

The main purpose of titration lies in the definition of it. If you want to find out constituents or concentration of a sample which is not known, what would you do? You can know the concentration of it by titrating it against a solution that has a known concentration.

Different types of titration answer the above question differently. Each titration is used for a specific purpose.

Types of titrations

1. Acid-base titration

It is a quantitative analysis where the determination of acid’s or base’s concentration takes place. One can determine the strength of acid or strength of base by using a standard solution of base or acid. In other words, the concentration of either two can be determined by neutralizing them with a solution of a known concentration of acid or base. Hence, it is called an acid-base titration. A pH indicator is used to monitor the reaction. It is usually preferred by chemists to find out the contents of acid and bases.

2. Oxidation-Reduction titration

It is also known as redox titration. It is used for the determination of unknown solutions that contain either an oxidizing agent or a reducing agent. In this type of titration, there is a loss or gain of electrons in a sample solution to determine what is there in the sample. These are helpful when determining the concentration of metals within a solution.

These have different names based on the reagent used like:

  • Permanganate Titrations
  • Dichromate Titrations
  • Iodimetric and Iodometric Titrations

3. Precipitation titration

Precipitation titration is called so as the titration process leaves out the precipitate after the completion of the reaction. In this type of titration, two reacting substances are brought together and a reagent is added which gives out the insoluble precipitate of the sample. It is usually helpful when one has to determine the salt in the solutions.

4. Complexometric titration

This type of titration is not very different from the precipitation titration, only difference is it is more reliable with minimal errors in measurement. After the reaction, the precipitate is formed here as well but more quickly and at the equivalence point. It can be useful when one has to determine the composition of soaps and detergents. 

Lab equipment for titration

An experiment is successful only when appropriate equipment is used meticulously. Moreover, one should have proper knowledge about equipment along with how they are to be used. Similarly while doing titration you need to be familiar with few lab equipments- burette and pipette. Both have some similarities but don’t confuse them for one another as that may lead to incorrect results.

  • Burette – it is a long cylindrical glass tube that is used to deliver the solution of known concentration to the solution of unknown concentration. As you know, it is used to hold titrant. It has a tap or stop cock attached at the bottom to release the solution into a flask and an opening towards the top. It comes with volumetric marking throughout the length of the measurement of liquid.
  • Pipette – it is a glass tube used for measuring small or minute amounts of liquids. It is a long tube with a bulge in between with a dropper like an arrangement at the bottom. It is used to measure the quantity of a solution of unknown concentration or titrand. It is smaller than the burette.

Precautions to be taken while titrating

When in laboratories, never compromise with safety. The experiments may range from low-risk to high-risk but one should always be aware and prepared. Except for safety, the goal should always be reduced human errors. So here are some basic yet essential precautions one should take while carrying out titration for best results.

  • Never add water to the acid. Do the opposite. Add acid to water.
  • Wear necessary equipment like gloves, gowns, and goggles.
  • Only use index finger whenever pipetting out solutions.
  • Remove the air bubble present in the burette.

While taking readings, make sure you have kept eye level with the liquid surface.

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