Standard solutions and titrations are used both in industry and for educational purposes. At the start of this year in the scientific practical technique action of the forensic course I have been taught how to carry out a successful titration and everything necessary to fully complete one. When carrying out a titration appropriately steps need to be correctly followed to maintain accuracy. You need to first make up a standard solution, in class I made one by using 1.3 grams of MgCO3 and dissolved the chemical in 250 ml of water. Proper working scales were required during this preparation, to be precise a standard solution are solutions which contain an accurate and known element or substance, by accurate I mean the concentration of the selected element(s) that are being studied and is used in the aim of identifying the concentration of a certain substance which is unknown. A primary standard solution has a few requirements to meet to enable it to be considered accurate, it must be 99% pure and cannot react with anything meaning the stability needs to be high, also when exposed to the atmosphere its shape can’t take a different form.?
A titration is a specific technique which aids a chemical reaction where a solution that the concentration is known is used to help figure out a concentration of a solution which is unknown. The known and unknown solutions are introduced to each other and the reaction begins, a colour indication is used to help the operator know when the experiment is complete, the indicator will turn the new solution a different colour, if the colour of the original solution during the reaction is transparent then the colour indicator could for example turn it pink. Sometimes the solution in a beaker may have to be stirred to help accelerate the reaction. Its common for the solution to turn a different colour as a result of the indicator being added but then instantly changing back to the original colour but the end point is when the colour doesn’t resist further and stays a steady colour which is different from the original.
In an industry standard solutions will be prepared in a better quality glassware, it will be more accurate compared to the college pieces. In the college lab the glass may have slight cracks in and they cant always afford to be thrown away and replaced to the students have to deal with the inconvenience, whereas in an industry like food the experiment wont go any further before all equipment is in perfect condition.
Titrations are used in the food industry, it enables the manufactures of the food to find out the exact quantity of certain products in the food. The can use titration to find out how much salt is in a packet of crisps or in a ready meal. Titrations are so heavily depended upon in this industry because it give them an exact idea of what is safe for human consumption and whats not. On the back of packets of food there is information about the ingredients and content in the pack, it also contains information about chemicals, vitamins and certain minerals, this information is possible to see because all the products would have been titrated. Whereas when in a college environment titration isn’t commonly used for food it’s normally used for finding concentrations out of elements in the periodic table. The use of titrations in a college laboratory differs from an industrial lab, in colleges titrations will mainly be used for fundamental use in class when completing the syllabus, for example Jez has taught me how to carry out a titration properly from start to finish this year. They can be used to find out concentrations for a class investigation, or when trying to find out the moles of a compound or element. In class we carried out a titration of magnesium carbonate and the titration helped us to find a class average that magnesium carbonate has 0.007 moles.
There are many differences between a titration carried out in a college laboratory compared next to industry, in the class room the there is a huge element of contamination to consider during the experiment, the apparatus isn’t like to be 100% sterile before the titration which has effect upon the final result of the concentration. In an industrial laboratory the scientists are always required to wear full lab clothing, including face masks to prevent traces of saliva contaminating the solution at any point during the experiment. If saliva does find its way into the standard solution or. The final result then it will have a diluting affect upon the concentration which puts the idea of an accurate final result in jeopardy. Secondly, the types of titration will differ in the two environments, in a college laboratory the method will usually be carried out manually for simple financial reasons whereas in the industry they have a much wider budget making automated titration devices the appropriate option. Manual titrations have some disadvantages compared to automated titrations, they take noticeably longer to complete, the results aren’t very accurate and is heavily dependant upon the operator. The person who is strictest with the titration will normally have the best final results. The automated version doesn’t require an operator, the accuracy will increase, this method will also reduce the amount of chemicals required to carry out the experiment saving you money and resources.