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Normality is a measure of concentration equal to the gram equivalent weight per liter of
solution. Gram equivalent weight is the measure of the reactive capacity of a molecule. The solute's
role in the reaction determines the solution's normality. Normality is also known as the equivalent
concentration of a solution.
Normality Equation

Normality (N) is the molar concentration ci divided by an equivalence factor

feq: N = ci / feq

Another common equation is normality (N) equal to the gram equivalent weight divided by liters
of solution:

N = gram equivalent weight / liters of solution (often expressed in g/L) or it may be the molarity
multiplied by the number of equivalents: N = molarity x equivalents

Unitts of Normality

The capital letter N is used to indicate concentration in terms of normality. It may also be
expressed as eq/L (equivalent per liter) or meq/L (milliequivalent per liter of 0.001 N, typically reserved
for medical reporting).

Examples of Normality

For acid reactions, a 1 M H2SO4 solution will have a normality (N) of 2 N because 2 moles of
H+ ions are present per liter of solution.

For sulfide precipitation reactions, where the SO4- ion is the important part, the same 1 M H2SO4
solution will have a normality of 1 N.

Potential Issues Using N for Concentration

Although normality is a useful unit of concentration, it can't be used for all situations because
its value depends on an equivalence factor that can change based on the type of chemical reaction of
interest. As an example, a solution of magnesium chloride (MgCl2) may be 1 N for the Mg2+ ion, yet 2
N for the Cl- ion. While N is a good unit to know, it's not used as much as molarity or molality in actual
lab work. It has value for acid-base titrations, precipitation reactions, and redox reactions. In acid-base
reactions and precipitation reactions, 1/feq is an integer value. In redox reactions, 1/feq may be a

No. of Equivalents
An equivalent is defined as the amount of an acid that contains one mole of H+ ions or the
amount of a base that contains one mole of OH- ions.

Since bases are also defined as proton acceptors, one

equivalent of a base can also be defined as the amount of base that
can accept one mole of H+ ions. The two definitions are
equivalent, since one mole of OH- ions can accept one mole of H+
Since a monoprotic acid has only one hydrogen ion per
molecule, one mole of a monoprotic acid is the same as one
equivalent. The same is true of a monobasic base. Since it has
only one hydroxide ion per “molecule” (or, can accept only one
proton per molecule) one mole and one equivalent are the same

A diprotic acid has two hydrogen ions per molecule, so that one
mole of a diprotic acid is the same as two equivalents. That is, a
diprotic acid has two equivalents per mole. Similarly, a dibasic
base has two equivalents per mole, or one half of a mole per

A triprotic acid has three hydrogen ions per molecule, so that one
mole of a triprotic acid is the same as three equivalents. In other
words, a triprotic acid has three equivalents per mole. And the
same statement can be made for tribasic bases. One mole
contains three equivalents, or one equivalent is the same as one
third of a mole.

It’s important that you be able to look at the formula of an acid or base and know immediately
the number of equivalents per mole. For any acid whose formula begins with H or for any base whose
formula ends with OH, the number of equivalents per mole is the same as the number of H’s in the
acid or OH’s in the base.

To convert from moles to equivalents, simply multiply the number

of moles by the number of equivalents to moles. To convert from
equivalents to moles, divide the number of equivalents by the
number of equivalents per mole.

This is the same conversion factor method we use to convert from one set of units to another,
or to convert from grams to moles, moles to molecules, grams to molecules, etc. It works here, of
course, because for a given acid or base, the number of moles and the number of equivalents are
directly proportional.

Selecting and Handling Reagents Cleaning

Classifying Chemicals

Reagent Grade

Reagent-grade chemicals conform to the minimum standards set forth by the Reagent Chemical
Committee of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and are used wherever possible in analytical work.

Primary-Standard Grade

The qualities required of a primary standard. Primary-standard reagents have been carefully
analyzed by the supplier. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is an excellent source for
primary standards. This agency also provides reference standards, which are complex substances that
have been exhaustively analyzed.
Special-Purpose Reagent Chemicals

Chemicals that have been prepared for a specific application are also available. High quality in
a chemical analysis requires reagents and solutions of established purity. A freshly opened bottle of a
reagent-grade chemical can ordinarily be used with confidence; whether this same confidence is
justified when the bottle is half empty depends entirely on the way it has been handled after being

Rules for Handling Reagents and Solutions

The following rules should be observed to prevent the accidental contamination of reagents and

1. Select the best grade of chemical available for analytical work. Whenever possible, pick the
smallest bottle that will supply the desired quantity.

2. Replace the top of every container immediately after removal of the reagent; do not rely on
someone else to do this.

3. Hold the stoppers of reagent bottles between your fingers; never set a stopper on a desk

4. Unless specifically directed otherwise, never return any excess reagent to a bottle. The money
saved by returning excesses is seldom worth the risk of contaminating the entire bottle.

5. Unless directed otherwise, never insert spatulas, spoons, or knives into a bottle that contains
a solid chemical. Instead, shake the capped bottle vigorously or tap it gently against a wooden table
to break up an encrustation; then pour out the desired quantity. These measures are occasionally
ineffective, and in such cases a clean porcelain spoon should be used.

6. Keep the reagent shelf and the laboratory balance clean and neat. Clean up any spills
immediately, even though someone else is waiting to use the same chemical or reagent.

7. Observe local regulations concerning the disposal of surplus reagents and solution.

Marking Ware Types of Analytical Balances

A chemical analysis is ordinarily performed in duplicate or triplicate. Thus, each vessel that holds
a sample must be marked so that its contents can be positively identified. Flasks, beakers, and some
crucibles have small etched areas on which semi-permanent markings can be made with a pencil.
Special marking inks are available for porcelain surfaces. The marking is baked permanently into
the glaze by heating at a high temperature. A saturated solution of iron (III) chloride, although not as
satisfactory as the commercial preparation, can also be used for marking.
Every beaker, flask, or crucible that will contain the sample must be thoroughly cleaned before
being used. The apparatus should be washed with a hot detergent solution and then rinsed, initially
with copious amounts of tap water and finally with several small portions of deionized water.3Properly
cleaned glassware will be coated with a uniform and unbroken film of water. It is seldom necessary to
dry the interior surface of glassware before use; drying is ordinarily a waste of time at best and a
potential source of contamination at worst.

An organic solvent, such as benzene or acetone, may be effective in removing

grease films. Chemical suppliers also market preparations for the elimination of such