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Determining the Hardness of Water Christopher Barnes and Jasmine Sinclair

Abstract The hardness of water was explored and found through titrations with the agent EDTA, pH 10 Buffer, Magnesium (Mg), and also Eriochrome Black T. Through the titrations found that on comparing the trials to the blank the results were 72.3 ml, 73.8 ml, and 80 ml. For the findings of the EDTA titrations they were not found to be within 3% of the primary solution and scored the following results of: 11.1 ml, 12.1 ml, and 9.7ml. (Note: The problems of substantial amounts of indicator added than necessary, not enough EDTA, or an increase in volume above 50 ml may be the resulting factor in the results above).

Introduction When determining the hardness of water, it is best to view it in terms of its content of Calcium (Ca) and Mg. Be mindful that the analysis will not differentiate between Ca and Mg, but instead by carbonate deposits in the earth itself (usually referenced/measured in parts per million carbonate by weight). The elements of Ca are also presumed to maintain themselves as colorless, but Magnesium will show results of the colors red and blue. Ethylenediamine Tetraacetic acid (EDTA) a reagent, can determine the hardness of water through titrating, and is a feeble or weak acid. In a titration to launch the concentration of a metal ion, the EDTA added will react to combine quantitatively with the cation to create the compound. The end point occurs when for all intents and purposes all of the cation has reacted. In this experiment we will standardize a solution of EDTA by titration against a solution derived from calcium carbonate, CaCO3. We will then use the EDTA solution to determine the hardness of an unknown water sample (no distilled water will be used). EDTA and Calcium should both be noted as colorless, making it absolutely necessary to use an indicator to distinguish the termination of the titration. The indicator being used is termed Eriochrome Black T, which will form a colored (wine-red) solution. Once EDTA is added, essentially all of the calcium and magnesium must be converted to chelates over short period of time (Note: EDTA is a chelating agent). At this point EDTA concentration will increase displacing Magnesium from the indicator solution, resulting in the indicator becoming an acid form, which is sky blue in color, and will indicate the end of the titration(s).

Procedure Primarily we should note that the water used was distilled. About 200-ml of water was drawn into a cleaned and rinsed Erlenmeyer Flask. A stopcock was placed on the top portion of the buret and then filled with a solution of EDTA. This will be referred to or known as the blank, because it will be used

as a basis of determination (throughout the first portion of this experiment). 25ml of distilled water was added and also 5ml of pH 10 buffer to the flask. A small amount of Eriochrome Black T wasthen added afterwards as an indicator in the mixture. The solution then in turn changed to a blue color. To change the color to a wine-red there were 15 drops of Magnesium Chloride added to the solution. The buret was then read, and EDTA was added until the purple tinge in the solution disappeared, which needed about 3.5 ml added to complete the blank. Following the previous steps 25 ml of a Calcium solution was pipet in to three 250 ml Erlenmeyer flasks. To each of the three flasks the process was repeated of adding 5ml of pH buffer, indicator, and 15 drops of 0.03 M MgCl2. The results are listed in the table below. Titration(s) Flask #1 Flask #2 Flask #3 Volume(ml) 72.3 73.8 80

A sample of water was then provided by the instructor to again carryout three more titrations. 50ml of the water was then pipetted into each of the three flasks. Two volumes were then to be obtained of the EDTA that agreed with 3% of the first titration. The results are in the table below: Titration(s) Flask #1 Flask #2 Flask #3 Volume (ml) 11.1 12.1 9.7

***Note: The following problems may have contributed to the readings above: 1) Excess indicator, 2) Not enough EDTA used, or 3) Increase in volume above 50ml;***

Results and Discussion Total permanent water hardness is calculated with the following formula: TOTAL PERMANENT HARDNESS = CALCIUM HARDNESS + MAGNESIUM HARDNESS The calcium and magnesium hardness is the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions expressed as equivalent of calcium carbonate. The molar mass of CaCO3, Ca2+ and Mg2+ are respectively 100.1 g/mol, 40.1 g/mol and 24.3 g/mol. The ratio of the molar masses are: 2.5 = CaCO3/Ca2+ 4.1 = CaCO3/Mg2+

So total permanent water hardness expressed as equivalent of CaCO3 can be calculated with the following formula: [CaCO3] = 2.5 x [Ca2+] + 4.1 x [Mg2+]

Concentration as CaCO3 0 to 60 mg/L 60 to 120 mg/L 120 to 180 >180 mg/L

Indication Soft water Moderately hard water mg/L Hard water Very hard water


Acknowledgements The authors want to extend a special thanks to Instructors: Dr. Brown, and Mr. Dupuis for providing an example Lab Report, and the Coastal Carolina Community College Chemistry staff and facilities for use. References http://www.lenntech.com/ro/water-hardness.htm#ixzz2tbYsHxDS