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THMG067 – Acid / Base Titration

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In this episode, Mike and Bob discuss the basic ins and outs of acid/base titration.

Complete Show Notes

4:55 What is Titration?

  • Put simply, it’s taking an acid and a base and trying to bring them together into a neutral state
  • Unfortunately, it’s very easy to screw this up in the real world – there’s a mathematical reason for this
  • The pH scale is base 10 – every time you move up 1 on the scale, you’re multiplying the amount by 10
  • When we titrate, we’re left with salt water and a little bit of heat

9:05 Concentration vs. Strength

  • Concentration
    • When we throw pH paper (percent hydrogen disassociation) into a liquid, we’re getting its concentration
    • Measured via molarity
  • Strength
    • Tells us how the acid will react and how it can hurt us
    • Don’t go by the pH when you’re figuring out how much slurry to use

13:30 Making and Using a Slurry

  • Also known as titration liquid
  • A slurry is the base you add to an acid to help weaken the acid and bring its pH down
  • A slurry is generally a known weak base or weak acid – we want to eliminate unknowns
  • Always add the acid to the water – it acts as a heat sink because there’s an exothermic reaction
  • Use the same amount of slurry every time to make your life easier – they can’t be inconsistent
  • The bigger the difference between the acid and the base, the bigger the reaction and sizzle – remember that nothing is instantaneous, so give it a few minutes – when it’s finished, you’ve reached the equivalence point
  • Try doing a test shot so you know what you’re dealing with and won’t be surprised by a violent reaction

24:35 Using Test Strips

  • Don’t just throw them into the solution – you’ll end up tossing in too many sheets
  • Instead, dip it and pull it out, use alligator clips, use an extension rod, or drip the solution onto the test strip
  • Bob recommends mini titration – this helps you set up a mathematical equation to keep things uniform – it’s usually 90,000 drops to a gallon

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