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Acid – Base Titrations

Purpose The objective of this experiment is to determine the concentration (molarity) of a sodium
hydroxide solution by titration.

Problems How do I standardize a base solution? What is the molarity of the unlabeled acid that I’ve
been given?

Overview Titration is the process of determining the amount of constituent in a sample by


measuring the volume of a standard solution of known concentration, which reacts with it in some
definite and complete manner. The assay of an unknown acid or base solution by titration with a
standard acid or base solution is one of the oldest and most widely used volumetric methods.

In this experiment, the concentration of an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide will be determined
by titration with potassium acid phthalate (KHP) using phenolphthalein as the endpoint indicator.
(An indicator is a substance that is one color in the presence of excess acid and a different color in the presence of excess
base. E.g. Phenolphthalein is colorless in acid and very light pink when neutralized by base.) This is known as
standardizing the base. The sodium hydroxide solution will be used in Part 2 to determine the
concentration of an unknown acid. Thus, its concentration must be known with a high degree of
accuracy and precision.

Part 1 – Standardizing the base


Background information
In this experiment, a known quantity of a primary standard acid (KHP) is dissolved in water and titrated
against a solution of the base forming the corresponding salt and water. At the equivalence point for this
reaction:
Exp 13: Acid-Base Titration Pg. 2

Part 1 – Standardizing the base (continued)


Procedure:
1. Accurately weigh 0.18 to 0.22 g samples of potassium acid phthalate (KHP) into four Erlenmeyer
flasks (125 mL or 250 mL) and dissolve in 50 mL of distilled water. Add three drops of
phenolphthalein solution to each.
2. Clean a burette by rinsing once with distilled water and once with a 10 mL portion of NaOH.
3. Fill the burette with NaOH and record the volume to the 0.00 mL mark.
4. Titrate with the NaOH solution to the first pink color that persists for 30 sec. Record the final
volume of NaOH solution required to reach the equivalence point.
5. Compute the average molarity of the NaOH solution.
6. Repeat the procedure for a MINIMUM of three trials. You must run additional trials if your
calculated molarities are too different from one another.

Data Table
Create a data table that will allow you to determine the average molarity of the NaOH solution that you
are standardizing.

Show your calculations of the molarity of the NaOH solution:


Exp 13: Acid-Base Titration Pg. 3

Part 2 – Determination of the Molarity of an Unknown Acid

Background information
In this part of the experiment, you will use the base that you standardized in Part 1 to determine the
molarity of an unlabeled sample of an acid. At the equivalence point for this reaction:

Procedure
1. Obtain a acid sample. Record the I.D. number of this acid.
2. Carefully pipette 20.00 mL of acid sample into each of four clean Erlenmeyer flasks (125 mL or
250 mL). Add three drops of phenolphthalein indicator and 50 mL of distilled water to each
flask.
3. Clean a burette.
4. Fill the burette with your standardized NaOH.
5. Place one of the Erlenmeyer Flasks containing Vinegar under the NaOH buret and begin titrating
with the standardized NaOH solution.
6. Repeat the procedure for a MINIMUM of three trials. You must run additional trials if your
calculated molarities for the vinegar are too different from one another.

All burette readings should be to the nearest 0.01 mL.

Data Table
Create a data table that will allow you to determine the average molarity of the acid solution that you
have been given.
Exp 13: Acid-Base Titration Pg. 4