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Gravimetric Acid-Base Titration

This analysis is designed to replicate the classic acid-base determination of an unknown titration, but using household chemicals as the standard, titrant, indicator, and unknown. Notably this analysis employs a digital scale and syringes in the place of pipettes and burettes, making this a unique gravimetric approach to acid base titrations.

A syringe with clear liquid on a digital scale
Gravimetric titration

The chemicals required for this analysis are:

  • Cream of tartar – for the acid standard
  • Powdered Turmeric root – for the indicator
  • Borax or Ammonia cleaner – for the titrant
  • Lemon or lime concentrate – for the unknown

As all of these chemicals are common household items waste disposal is not a concern for this lab.

Two beakers with different colored liquids in them.  The left beaker (yellow color) is an acidic solution with the turmeric indicator.  The right beaker (reddish brown color) is a basic solution with the turmeric indicator.
Turmeric indicator in acidic and basic solutions.

The attached files are a Word and .pdf version of the lab instructions. This lab is planned for use in a quantitative analysis lab where the student is to report the concentration of their unknown acid. Modifications can easily be made to the procedure/analysis to use alternate (traditional indicators) or a range of alternate acid unknowns (e.g. vinegar, aspirin, soda, sparkling water…)

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