Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: titration from Dictionary of Energy

Chemistry. any of various methods used to determine the concentration of a test substance in a solvent, performed by adding a standard solution to the test solution. The end point (as indicated by a certain reaction, such as a color change) is used to calculate the composition of the sample.

Summary Article: titration
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(tītrā'shӘn), gradual addition of an acidic solution to a basic solution or vice versa (see acids and bases); titrations are used to determine the concentration of acids or bases in solution. For example, a given volume of a solution of unknown acidity may be titrated with a base of known concentration until complete neutralization has occurred. This point is called the equivalence point and is generally determined by observing a color change in an added indicator such as phenolphthalein. From the volume and concentration of added base and the volume of acid solution, the unknown concentration of the solution before titration can be determined. Titrations can also be used to determine the number of acidic or basic groups in an unknown compound. A specific weight of the compound is titrated with a known concentration of acid or base until the equivalence point has been reached. From the volume and concentration of added acid or base and the initial weight of the compound, the equivalent weight, and thus the number of acidic or basic groups, can be computed. Instead of adding an indicator to observe the equivalence point, one can construct a graph on which the pH (see separate article) at regular intervals is plotted along one axis and the number of moles of added acid or base at these intervals along the other axis; such a plot is called a titration curve and is usually sigmoid (S-shaped), with the inflection point, where the curve changes direction, corresponding to the equivalence point. From the pH at the equivalence point, the dissociation constant of the acidic or basic group can be determined (see chemical equilibrium). If a compound contains several different acidic or basic groups, the titration curve will show several sigmoid-shaped curves like steps and the dissociation constant of each group can be obtained from the pH at its corresponding equivalence point.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article neutralization
Philip's Encyclopedia

In chemistry, the mixing, or titration , of equivalent amounts of an acid and a base in an aqueous medium until the mixture is neither acidic...

See more from Credo