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S.no Abbreviation Expansion

1. EDTA Ethylene diamine tetra-acetic
2. EBT Erichrome Black T
3. aq Aqueous
4. ppm Parts per million

Hard water is the water containing the dissolved salts of calcium, magnesium and iron ions. Theses ions are called
hardening ions. In low concentrations, these ions are not considered harmful for domestic use, but when present in
higher concentrations, these ions interfere with the cleansing action of soaps and accelerate the corrosion of steel
pipes, especially those carrying hot water. Hard water prevents soaps from lathering and causes scale built up in
pipes and appliances such as hot water tanks, boilers, shortening their life span and affecting their efficiency.

Soaps are sodium or potassium salts of higher fatty acids such as stearic acid, C 17H35COOH. Soaps, such as C17H35COO-
Na+, are very effective cleansing agents so long as they remain soluble in water. Hardening ions, such as Ca 2+, Mg2+
and Fe3+ react with soaps and form insoluble compounds and thus interfere in the cleansing action of soap.

2 C17H35COO-Na+(aq) + Ca2+(aq) ( C17H35COO)2Ca(s) + 2Na+(aq)

Hard water is also responsible for the formation of “boiler scale” on tea kettles and vessels used for heating water.
The boiler scale reduces the efficiency of transferring heat because it is a bad conductor of heat. Formation of boiler
scale in the pipes carrying hot water reduces the rate of flow of water in them. In extreme cases, due to overheating
of boiler or the pipes, may break due to overheating. The boiler scale consists primarily of the carbonates of
hardening ions.

Ca2+(aq)+2HCO3-(aq)  CaCO3(s)+CO2(g)+H2O(l)

The hardening ions enter into water as a result of reaction between slightly acidic rain water and mineral deposits.
Ground water becomes hard as it flows through underground limestone deposits. The water from deep wells has
higher degree of hardness as compared to water from shallow wells because of greater interaction with limestone.
Similarly, surface water receives hardening ions as it flows over limestone deposits. CO 2 dissolved in water makes it
slightly acidic and helps in dissolved limestone deposits.
2+ -
CO2(aq)+ CaCO3(s) +H2O(l)  Ca (aq) +2HCO3 (aq)

The degree of hardness in water depends on the extent of hardening ions present in water. The concentration of
hardening ions in a water sample is generally expressed as though the hardness is due exclusively to CaCO 3. The unit
of hardness is mg CaCO3/ litre which is same as ppm CaCO 3. A general classification of hard water is given below in
tabular form:

Hardness (ppm CaCO3) Classification

<15 ppm Very soft water
15 – 50 ppm Soft water
50 – 100 ppm Medium hard water
100 – 200 ppm Hard water
>200 ppm Very hard water

Typically, hardness is treated with a water softener that removes the calcium and magnesium ions when the water
passes through a tank containing a softening resin. The chemical process that occurs replaces the calcium and
magnesium ions with sodium ions in a process called ion exchange. When the sodium ions supply is exhausted, the
unit is regenerated by passing sodium chloride solution through the exchange material. The hardness ions are then
washed away in the rinse water. Units can be regenerated manually or automatically.

Objective: to analyze and compare different water samples

The concentration of hardening ions in water can be determined by a titration technique, the titrant is the disodium
salt of ethylene-diaminetetraacetic acid.
In aqueous solution, Na2H2Y dissociates into Na+ and H2Y2- ions. Ca2+ and Mg2+ react with H2Y2- to form stable
complexes in a solution having pH of about 10. A buffer solution containing ammonia and ammonium ions is used to
maintain the pH of the solution around 10.

For the detection of the end point Erichrome Black T (EBT) is used as indicator. EBT forms complex ions with Ca 2+ and
Mg2+ ions, but binds more strongly to Mg2+ ions. Since only a small amount of EBT is added, only a small amount of
Mg2+ ions is used in formation of complex and no Ca2+ ions are used. EBT indicator is sky blue in solution but it’s
complex with Mg2+ ions [Mg- EBT]2+ , is wine red.
Mg2+(aq)+ EBT(aq)  [Mg- EBT]2+(aq)
sky blue wine red
Thus, during titration, when indicator is added to hard water, the initial color is wine red. When the titrant is added,
H2Y2- complexes with free Ca2+ and Mg2+ present in water and finally removes Mg2+ ions from the [Mg- EBT]2+ complex
ions. As a result, the color of the solution changes from wine red to sky blue.
[Mg- EBT]2+(aq)+ H2Y2-(aq)  MgY2-(aq)+2H+(aq)+EBT(aq)
wine red sky blue
It may be mentioned here that for the end point to appear, Mg ions must be present in the solution. Therefore, a
small amount of Na2H2Y is also added so that the added Mg2+ ions do not affect the amount of H2Y2- used during

Experiment no.1

AIM: To determine and compare the hardness of different water samples.


Chemical Requirements: Standard EDTA (Na2H2Y) solution, Buffer solution (pH=10), Erichrome Black T (EBT)
Apparatus requirement: 200 ml conical flask, funnel, beaker, burette and pipette.


1. Take about 100ml of water sample to be analyzed. If the water sample contains suspended impurities, it
should be subjected to simple filtration. If the water sample is acidic to litmus, add 1 M NH 3 drop wise until it
becomes basic to litmus.
2. Rinse the burette with Na2H2Y solution and then fill it with the solution. Record the initial reading.
3. Pipette out 25.0ml of the given sample of water in the conical flask. Add 1ml of the buffer (pH=10) solution
and 2 drops EBT indicator. The color of the solution becomes wine red at this stage.
4. Titrate the above solution with standard Na2H2Y solution. At the end point, the wine red color disappears and
the solution becomes blue (or purple) in color. Note the final reading of the burette. Repeat the titration 3-4
times to get a concordant reading.


Molarity of the standard Na2H2Y solution = 0.01M

Volume of water taken for each titration = 20.0ml

Burette readings:

Sl. No. Source of Water Initial Reading Final Reading Volume Of Na2H2Y
used (ml)
1. Magnolia Hostel 0 13.5 13.5
Drinking Water
2. Magnolia Hostel 0 10.5 10.5
Tap Water
3. Magnolia Lab Tap 0 9.5 9.5
4. Kent 0 4.5 4.5
5. Aqua guard 0 6.3 6.3
6. Pure It 0 3.5 3.5


1) Magnolia Hostel Drinking Water

Volume of titrant used = 13.5 ml

Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*13.5)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*13.5)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*13.5)/1000)*100g = 13.5 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (13.5/20)*1000 = 50*13.5 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*13.5 ppm = 675 ppm

2) Magnolia Hostel Drinking Water

Volume of titrant used = 10.5 ml
Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*10.5)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*10.5)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*10.5)/1000)*100g = 10.5 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (10.5/20)*1000 = 50*10.5 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*10.5 ppm = 525 ppm

3) Magnolia Lab Tap Water

Volume of titrant used = 9.5 ml

Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*9.5)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*9.5)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*9.5)/1000)*100g = 9.5 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (9.5 /20)*1000 = 50*9.5 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*9.5 ppm = 475 ppm

4) Kent

Volume of titrant used = 4.5 ml

Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*4.5)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*4.5)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*4.5)/1000)*100g = 4.5 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (4.5 /20)*1000 = 50*4.5 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*4.5 ppm = 225 ppm

5) Aqua Guard

Volume of titrant used = 6.3 ml

Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*6.3)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*6.3)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*6.3)/1000)*100g = 6.3 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (6.3 /20)*1000 = 50*6.3 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*6.3 ppm = 315 ppm

6) Pure It
Volume of titrant used = 3.5 ml
Molarity of titrant solution = 0.01M
Moles of titrant used = (M*V)/1000 = (0.01*3.5)/1000
Moles of Na2H2Y = Moles of Ca2+ = (0.01*3.5)/1000
Mass of equivalent CaCO3 = ((0.01*3.5)/1000)*100g = 3.5 mg
Mass of CaCO3 per litre = (3.5 /20)*1000 = 50*3.5 mg/litre
Hardness = 50*3.5 ppm = 175 ppm

Water Sample Hardness(ppm) Inference
Magnolia Hostel Drinking Water 675 Very Hard Water
Magnolia Hostel Tap Water 525 Very Hard Water
Magnolia Lab Tap Water 475 Very Hard Water
Kent 225 Very Hard Water
Aqua guard 315 Very Hard Water
Pure It 175 Hard Water

Most of the water purifiers provide very hard water, the hardest coming from the purifier in the Magnolian hostel.

The softest water comes from the Pure It water purifier but that too comes under the category of hard water.

Such hard water, if consumed, can have ill effects on human health.

1. Comprehensive Chemistry Lab Manual for class XI
2. Together with Chemistry Lab Manual for class XI
1. www.wikipedia.org
2. www.google.co.in
Analysis of hard water
Chemistry project

in partial fulfillment of the

cbse grade xi


aecs magnolia
maaruti public school

#36/909, Arakere, B.G. Road, Bangalore – 76.

project report submitted by Advesh jalan.

Class XI ‘a’

Topic Page no.
introduction 1
aim 2
requirements 2
theory 2
procedure 2
observations 3
burette readings 3
calculations 3