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Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

PRACTICAL THREE - DETERMINING THE MOLARITY OF A SOLUTION


A standard solution is one where its molarity has been accurately determined. This standard
solution is used to determine the unknown concentration of a solution. A standard solution
should have a high degree of purity, it must be soluble in water, and must be stable in air and
water. It must also react with an unknown solution in such a way that it can be easily
identified that a change had occurred. It should also, only react with the unknown during
titration. To determine the concentration of the standard solution, the mass of the solid has to
be accurately weighed, and all of this solid has to be completely dissolved in water of a
certain volume. The molarity of the standard solution is calculated using the formula:
C (mol L-1) =

()
()

Titration is a method where a solution of known concentration is used to determine the


unknown concentration of a solution. A base, is added to an acid until the first permanent
colour change is observed. Or vice versa. Then the concentration of the unknown solution is
calculated using the recorded data. The end point is when all the unknown solution has been
reacted. An indicator is a substance that allows the experimenter to know when it has reached
the end point (i.e. colour change). Concordant titres are titration values that have a series of
similarly successive titrations results, and it should usually defer by 0.1. A balanced
equation of the reaction should be written. Number of moles of the standard solution is
calculated. Using the molar ratio between the unknown solution and the standard solution,
determine the number of moles of the unknown solution. Use the average titre value (from
experiment) to calculate the concentration of the unknown solution.

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

Aim
To use a standard sodium carbonate solution to determine the molarity of a solution of
Hydrochloric acid.
Requirements
Equipment
Electronic balance

250 mL volumetric flask and stopper

White tile

25 mL pipette

Burette stand and clamp

2 250 mL conical flask

Spatula

2 250 mL beaker

Teat pipette

Watchglass

Glass funnel

Burette

Chemicals
Sodium carbonate (AR)

Methyl orange indicator

Safety Precaution

Hydrochloric acid solution


Procedure
A watch glass was placed on the electronic balance and tarred. 1.30 g of sodium carbonate
was weighed on the watch glass. A volumetric flask was rinsed with distilled water. A funnel
was used to transfer the sodium carbonate into the flask. All the solid on the watch glass,
funnel, and neck of the flask was washed into the bulb of the flask using distilled water. The
flask was filled with distilled water until three quarters full. The solid was dissolved by
shaking the flask with the stopper on. After dissolving, the flask was filled to the calibration
line with distilled water. The last few mLs were added drop-wise using a teat pipette. The
stopper was placed and the flask was shaken to ensure that the solution is homogeneous. The
molarity of this solution was calculated. A burette was rinsed with distilled water then with

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

HCl. The burette was filled with HCl solution until the zero mark. Adjust the level and record
the first reading. A white tile was placed under the burette. A pipette was rinsed with sodium
carbonate solution. 25mL of the standard solution was pipetted into a clean 250mL conical
flask. 1 drop of methyl orange was added to this solution. Acid from the burette was added to
the flask while shaking. Acid was no longer added when the first permanent colour change
was added. The above steps were repeated to obtain 3 concordant titres.

Results
Results

Rough

First titration

Second titration

Third titration

Final reading

28.0

28.7

28.9

28.7

First reading

Titre

28.0

28.7

28.9

28.7

Calculations
nNa2CO3 = mNa2CO3MNa2CO3
= 1.302g(22.992+12.01+15.993)
=0.01229mol
CNa2CO3 = nNa2CO3 VNa2CO3
= 0.01229mol 0.25L
=0.04916mol/L
nNa2CO3 used = 0.04916mol/L0.025L = 0.001229mol

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

The average titre of HCl = (28.7+28.9+28.7)3 = 28.77ml = 0.02877L


2HCl + Na2CO3 H2O + CO2 + 2NaCl
nNa2CO3: nHCl = 1:2
nHCl= 0.001229mol2 = 0.002458mol
CHCl = nHClVHCl = 0.002458mol 0.02877L= 0.08544mol/L
Sodium carbonate

Hydrochloric acid

Volume(V)

25ml

28.77ml

Concentration(C)

0.04916mol/L

0.08544mol/L

Number of moles(n)

0.001229mol

0.002458mol

Mole ratio

Observation
After adding the indicator to the colourless Na2CO3 solution, it turned yellow. When HCl was
added, certain parts of the Na2CO3 solution turned pink. However, after shaking the flask, the
solution became yellow again. After adding about 27.5ml HCl, the colour change became
more persistent, thus HCl solution was added drop by drop, until adding one specific turned
the solution orange. When a permanent colour change was observed, HCl was no longer
added to the solution.

Discussion
1) Explain how the concentration and/or purity of the solution would be affected if

(a) the volumetric flask was not rinsed with distilled (or RO) water first:

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

This will affect the purity of the solution.The volumetric flask may contain some residue on
its surface. This would contaminate the Na2CO3 solution. A standard solution has to have
high purity, therefore, volumetric flask needs to be rinsed with distilled water.
(b) some sodium carbonate was spilled on the balance pan during weighing.
This will make sodium carbonate less concentrated. Amount of Na2CO3 on the watch glass is
less than the weighed mass.Thus the amount of sodium carbonate dissolved in the solution is
lesser, and since volume of the solution remains constant, the concentration of the solution
will be lesser than what is calculated.
(c) not all of the sodium carbonate was washed into the flask - some remained in the funnel
or on the watch glass.
This will make the sodium carbonate less concentrated. The amount of sodium carbonate
dissolved in the solution is lesser, and since volume of the solution remains constant, the
concentration of the solution will be lesser than what is calculated.

(d) not all of the sodium carbonate dissolved


This will make the sodium carbonate less concentrated. Not all the sodium carbonate had
dissolved, so the concentration of the solution will be lesser than what is calculated.
(e) the volumetric flask was filled beyond the calibration mark
This will affect the concentration of Na2CO3 solution, as it becomes more dilute. Volume of
water added increases while the quantity of sodium carbonate dissolved remains constant, so
the solution becomes diluted.

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

(f) the volumetric flask was not shaken after the final addition of water
This does not affect the overall concentration, as the number of moles of Na2CO3 dissolved in
water remains constant. Hoewever, the solution will not be homogenous, thus different parts
of the solution will have different concentrations. Therefore, different batches of Na2CO3
drawed from the volumetric flask will have differing concentrations.
2) Explain what effect each of the following would have on the value calculated for the
concentration of HCl.
a) Not rinsing the pipette with sodium carbonate solution
This will make the concentration greater. The water used to rinse the pipette remains in the
pipette, and it will dilute Na2CO3 solution. Thus lesser HCl is needed to neutralize Na2CO3.
When calculating, the number of moles of HCl (n) does not change, but volume (v) decreases.
c = n/v, so the concentration will be greater.

b) Not rinsing the burette with hydrochloric acid solution


This will make the calculated concentration smaller. The water used to rinse the burette
remains in the burette, and it will dilute the HCl solution. Thus more volume HCl is needed
to neutralize Na2CO3 solution. The number of moles of HCl (n) does not change, but its
volume increases. Since c = n/v, the concentration will be smaller.
c) Going past the end point

This will make the concentration smaller. A greater volume of HCl is added and recorded.
When calculating, the number of moles of HCl (n) remains constant but the volume of HCl (v)
increases, c = n/v, so the concentration will be smaller.

Christabel & Emma

13 April 2015

d) Rinsing the conical flask with sodium carbonate solution.


This will make the concentration smaller. Sodium carbonate solution used to rinse the conical
flask remains in the conical flask, and this makes the actual volume of Na2CO3 solution
increase. Thus more HCl is needed to neutralize Na2CO3 solution. When calculating, the
number of moles of HCl (n) remains constant but its volume (v) increases. Since c = n/v, the
concentration will be smaller.

Errors
To reduce random errors, an average of the readings should be taken. If the averages of three
readings are needed, more than three readings should be recorded. Using only three values
that are closest to each other, take the average of these readings.
Systematic error can come about from human error (eg. human reaction time, disability for a
human to judge whether a permanent colour change has occurred because the colourings
were too light.) It can also be caused by the precision in the measuring tools used. A burette
can only measure up to two decimal places, therefore volume read may not be as accurate as
what the actual volume was. Accuracy is important to eliminate systematic errors, thus
instruments with high precision needs to be used.

Conclusion
The molarity of hydrochloric acid is 0.08544mol/L.