Skip to Content
OpenStax Logo
Chemistry 2e

14.7 Acid-Base Titrations

Chemistry 2e14.7 Acid-Base Titrations
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Essential Ideas
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 Chemistry in Context
    3. 1.2 Phases and Classification of Matter
    4. 1.3 Physical and Chemical Properties
    5. 1.4 Measurements
    6. 1.5 Measurement Uncertainty, Accuracy, and Precision
    7. 1.6 Mathematical Treatment of Measurement Results
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Equations
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  3. 2 Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Early Ideas in Atomic Theory
    3. 2.2 Evolution of Atomic Theory
    4. 2.3 Atomic Structure and Symbolism
    5. 2.4 Chemical Formulas
    6. 2.5 The Periodic Table
    7. 2.6 Molecular and Ionic Compounds
    8. 2.7 Chemical Nomenclature
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Equations
    11. Summary
    12. Exercises
  4. 3 Composition of Substances and Solutions
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Formula Mass and the Mole Concept
    3. 3.2 Determining Empirical and Molecular Formulas
    4. 3.3 Molarity
    5. 3.4 Other Units for Solution Concentrations
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Equations
    8. Summary
    9. Exercises
  5. 4 Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Writing and Balancing Chemical Equations
    3. 4.2 Classifying Chemical Reactions
    4. 4.3 Reaction Stoichiometry
    5. 4.4 Reaction Yields
    6. 4.5 Quantitative Chemical Analysis
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Equations
    9. Summary
    10. Exercises
  6. 5 Thermochemistry
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Energy Basics
    3. 5.2 Calorimetry
    4. 5.3 Enthalpy
    5. Key Terms
    6. Key Equations
    7. Summary
    8. Exercises
  7. 6 Electronic Structure and Periodic Properties of Elements
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Electromagnetic Energy
    3. 6.2 The Bohr Model
    4. 6.3 Development of Quantum Theory
    5. 6.4 Electronic Structure of Atoms (Electron Configurations)
    6. 6.5 Periodic Variations in Element Properties
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Equations
    9. Summary
    10. Exercises
  8. 7 Chemical Bonding and Molecular Geometry
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Ionic Bonding
    3. 7.2 Covalent Bonding
    4. 7.3 Lewis Symbols and Structures
    5. 7.4 Formal Charges and Resonance
    6. 7.5 Strengths of Ionic and Covalent Bonds
    7. 7.6 Molecular Structure and Polarity
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Equations
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  9. 8 Advanced Theories of Covalent Bonding
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Valence Bond Theory
    3. 8.2 Hybrid Atomic Orbitals
    4. 8.3 Multiple Bonds
    5. 8.4 Molecular Orbital Theory
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Equations
    8. Summary
    9. Exercises
  10. 9 Gases
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Gas Pressure
    3. 9.2 Relating Pressure, Volume, Amount, and Temperature: The Ideal Gas Law
    4. 9.3 Stoichiometry of Gaseous Substances, Mixtures, and Reactions
    5. 9.4 Effusion and Diffusion of Gases
    6. 9.5 The Kinetic-Molecular Theory
    7. 9.6 Non-Ideal Gas Behavior
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Equations
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  11. 10 Liquids and Solids
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Intermolecular Forces
    3. 10.2 Properties of Liquids
    4. 10.3 Phase Transitions
    5. 10.4 Phase Diagrams
    6. 10.5 The Solid State of Matter
    7. 10.6 Lattice Structures in Crystalline Solids
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Equations
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  12. 11 Solutions and Colloids
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Dissolution Process
    3. 11.2 Electrolytes
    4. 11.3 Solubility
    5. 11.4 Colligative Properties
    6. 11.5 Colloids
    7. Key Terms
    8. Key Equations
    9. Summary
    10. Exercises
  13. 12 Kinetics
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Chemical Reaction Rates
    3. 12.2 Factors Affecting Reaction Rates
    4. 12.3 Rate Laws
    5. 12.4 Integrated Rate Laws
    6. 12.5 Collision Theory
    7. 12.6 Reaction Mechanisms
    8. 12.7 Catalysis
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Equations
    11. Summary
    12. Exercises
  14. 13 Fundamental Equilibrium Concepts
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Chemical Equilibria
    3. 13.2 Equilibrium Constants
    4. 13.3 Shifting Equilibria: Le Châtelier’s Principle
    5. 13.4 Equilibrium Calculations
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Equations
    8. Summary
    9. Exercises
  15. 14 Acid-Base Equilibria
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Brønsted-Lowry Acids and Bases
    3. 14.2 pH and pOH
    4. 14.3 Relative Strengths of Acids and Bases
    5. 14.4 Hydrolysis of Salts
    6. 14.5 Polyprotic Acids
    7. 14.6 Buffers
    8. 14.7 Acid-Base Titrations
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Equations
    11. Summary
    12. Exercises
  16. 15 Equilibria of Other Reaction Classes
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Precipitation and Dissolution
    3. 15.2 Lewis Acids and Bases
    4. 15.3 Coupled Equilibria
    5. Key Terms
    6. Key Equations
    7. Summary
    8. Exercises
  17. 16 Thermodynamics
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 Spontaneity
    3. 16.2 Entropy
    4. 16.3 The Second and Third Laws of Thermodynamics
    5. 16.4 Free Energy
    6. Key Terms
    7. Key Equations
    8. Summary
    9. Exercises
  18. 17 Electrochemistry
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Review of Redox Chemistry
    3. 17.2 Galvanic Cells
    4. 17.3 Electrode and Cell Potentials
    5. 17.4 Potential, Free Energy, and Equilibrium
    6. 17.5 Batteries and Fuel Cells
    7. 17.6 Corrosion
    8. 17.7 Electrolysis
    9. Key Terms
    10. Key Equations
    11. Summary
    12. Exercises
  19. 18 Representative Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 Periodicity
    3. 18.2 Occurrence and Preparation of the Representative Metals
    4. 18.3 Structure and General Properties of the Metalloids
    5. 18.4 Structure and General Properties of the Nonmetals
    6. 18.5 Occurrence, Preparation, and Compounds of Hydrogen
    7. 18.6 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Carbonates
    8. 18.7 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Nitrogen
    9. 18.8 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Phosphorus
    10. 18.9 Occurrence, Preparation, and Compounds of Oxygen
    11. 18.10 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Sulfur
    12. 18.11 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Halogens
    13. 18.12 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of the Noble Gases
    14. Key Terms
    15. Summary
    16. Exercises
  20. 19 Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry
    1. Introduction
    2. 19.1 Occurrence, Preparation, and Properties of Transition Metals and Their Compounds
    3. 19.2 Coordination Chemistry of Transition Metals
    4. 19.3 Spectroscopic and Magnetic Properties of Coordination Compounds
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Exercises
  21. 20 Organic Chemistry
    1. Introduction
    2. 20.1 Hydrocarbons
    3. 20.2 Alcohols and Ethers
    4. 20.3 Aldehydes, Ketones, Carboxylic Acids, and Esters
    5. 20.4 Amines and Amides
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Exercises
  22. 21 Nuclear Chemistry
    1. Introduction
    2. 21.1 Nuclear Structure and Stability
    3. 21.2 Nuclear Equations
    4. 21.3 Radioactive Decay
    5. 21.4 Transmutation and Nuclear Energy
    6. 21.5 Uses of Radioisotopes
    7. 21.6 Biological Effects of Radiation
    8. Key Terms
    9. Key Equations
    10. Summary
    11. Exercises
  23. A | The Periodic Table
  24. B | Essential Mathematics
  25. C | Units and Conversion Factors
  26. D | Fundamental Physical Constants
  27. E | Water Properties
  28. F | Composition of Commercial Acids and Bases
  29. G | Standard Thermodynamic Properties for Selected Substances
  30. H | Ionization Constants of Weak Acids
  31. I | Ionization Constants of Weak Bases
  32. J | Solubility Products
  33. K | Formation Constants for Complex Ions
  34. L | Standard Electrode (Half-Cell) Potentials
  35. M | Half-Lives for Several Radioactive Isotopes
  36. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
    17. Chapter 17
    18. Chapter 18
    19. Chapter 19
    20. Chapter 20
    21. Chapter 21
  37. Index
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Interpret titration curves for strong and weak acid-base systems
  • Compute sample pH at important stages of a titration
  • Explain the function of acid-base indicators

As seen in the chapter on the stoichiometry of chemical reactions, titrations can be used to quantitatively analyze solutions for their acid or base concentrations. In this section, we will explore the underlying chemical equilibria that make acid-base titrimetry a useful analytical technique.

Titration Curves

A titration curve is a plot of some solution property versus the amount of added titrant. For acid-base titrations, solution pH is a useful property to monitor because it varies predictably with the solution composition and, therefore, may be used to monitor the titration’s progress and detect its end point. The following example exercise demonstrates the computation of pH for a titration solution after additions of several specified titrant volumes. The first example involves a strong acid titration that requires only stoichiometric calculations to derive the solution pH. The second example addresses a weak acid titration requiring equilibrium calculations.

Example 14.21

Calculating pH for Titration Solutions: Strong Acid/Strong Base A titration is carried out for 25.00 mL of 0.100 M HCl (strong acid) with 0.100 M of a strong base NaOH (the titration curve is shown in Figure 14.18). Calculate the pH at these volumes of added base solution:

(a) 0.00 mL

(b) 12.50 mL

(c) 25.00 mL

(d) 37.50 mL

Solution (a) Titrant volume = 0 mL. The solution pH is due to the acid ionization of HCl. Because this is a strong acid, the ionization is complete and the hydronium ion molarity is 0.100 M. The pH of the solution is then

pH=log( 0.100 )=1.000 pH=log( 0.100 )=1.000

(b) Titrant volume = 12.50 mL. Since the acid sample and the base titrant are both monoprotic and equally concentrated, this titrant addition involves less than a stoichiometric amount of base, and so it is completely consumed by reaction with the excess acid in the sample. The concentration of acid remaining is computed by subtracting the consumed amount from the intial amount and then dividing by the solution volume:

[H3O+]=n(H+)V=0.002500 mol×(1000 mL1 L)0.100M×12.50 mL25.00 mL+12.50 mL=0.0333M[H3O+]=n(H+)V=0.002500 mol×(1000 mL1 L)0.100M×12.50 mL25.00 mL+12.50 mL=0.0333M

(c) Titrant volume = 25.00 mL. This titrant addition involves a stoichiometric amount of base (the equivalence point), and so only products of the neutralization reaction are in solution (water and NaCl). Neither the cation nor the anion of this salt undergo acid-base ionization; the only process generating hydronium ions is the autoprotolysis of water. The solution is neutral, having a pH = 7.00.

(d) Titrant volume = 37.50 mL. This involves the addition of titrant in excess of the equivalence point. The solution pH is then calculated using the concentration of hydroxide ion:

n(OH)0>n(H+)0n(OH)0>n(H+)0
[OH]=n(OH)V=0.100M×37.50 mL0.002500 mol×(1000 mL1 L)25.00 mL+37.50 mL=0.0200M[OH]=n(OH)V=0.100M×37.50 mL0.002500 mol×(1000 mL1 L)25.00 mL+37.50 mL=0.0200M

pH = 14 − pOH = 14 + log([OH]) = 14 + log(0.0200) = 12.30

Check Your Learning Calculate the pH for the strong acid/strong base titration between 50.0 mL of 0.100 M HNO3(aq) and 0.200 M NaOH (titrant) at the listed volumes of added base: 0.00 mL, 15.0 mL, 25.0 mL, and 40.0 mL.

Answer:

0.00: 1.000; 15.0: 1.5111; 25.0: 7; 40.0: 12.523

Example 14.22

Titration of a Weak Acid with a Strong Base Consider the titration of 25.00 mL of 0.100 M CH3CO2H with 0.100 M NaOH. The reaction can be represented as:

CH3CO2H+OHCH3CO2+H2OCH3CO2H+OHCH3CO2+H2O

Calculate the pH of the titration solution after the addition of the following volumes of NaOH titrant:

(a) 0.00 mL

(b) 25.00 mL

(c) 12.50 mL

(d) 37.50 mL

Solution (a) The initial pH is computed for the acetic acid solution in the usual ICE approach:

Ka=[H3O+][CH3CO2][CH3CO2H][H3O+]2[CH3CO2H]0,Ka=[H3O+][CH3CO2][CH3CO2H][H3O+]2[CH3CO2H]0, and [H3O+]=Ka×[CH3CO2H]=1.8×10−5×0.100=1.3×10−3[H3O+]=Ka×[CH3CO2H]=1.8×10−5×0.100=1.3×10−3

pH=−log(1.3×10−3)=2.87pH=−log(1.3×10−3)=2.87

(b) The acid and titrant are both monoprotic and the sample and titrant solutions are equally concentrated; thus, this volume of titrant represents the equivalence point. Unlike the strong-acid example above, however, the reaction mixture in this case contains a weak conjugate base (acetate ion). The solution pH is computed considering the base ionization of acetate, which is present at a concentration of

0.00250 mol0.0500 L=0.0500 MCH3CO20.00250 mol0.0500 L=0.0500 MCH3CO2

Base ionization of acetate is represented by the equation

CH3CO2(aq)+H2O(l)CH3CO2H(aq)+OH(aq)CH3CO2(aq)+H2O(l)CH3CO2H(aq)+OH(aq)
Kb=[H+][OH]Ka=KwKa=1.0×10−141.8×10−5=5.6×10−10Kb=[H+][OH]Ka=KwKa=1.0×10−141.8×10−5=5.6×10−10

Assuming x << 0.0500, the pH may be calculated via the usual ICE approach: Kb=x20.0500MKb=x20.0500M

x=[OH]=5.3×106x=[OH]=5.3×106
pOH=−log(5.3×106)=5.28pOH=−log(5.3×106)=5.28
pH=14.005.28=8.72pH=14.005.28=8.72

Note that the pH at the equivalence point of this titration is significantly greater than 7, as expected when titrating a weak acid with a strong base.

(c) Titrant volume = 12.50 mL. This volume represents one-half of the stoichiometric amount of titrant, and so one-half of the acetic acid has been neutralized to yield an equivalent amount of acetate ion. The concentrations of these conjugate acid-base partners, therefore, are equal. A convenient approach to computing the pH is use of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation:

pH=pKa+log[Base][Acid]=−log(Ka)+log[CH3CO2][CH3CO2H]=−log(1.8×10−5)+log(1)pH=pKa+log[Base][Acid]=−log(Ka)+log[CH3CO2][CH3CO2H]=−log(1.8×10−5)+log(1)
pH=−log(1.8×105)=4.74pH=−log(1.8×105)=4.74

(pH = pKa at the half-equivalence point in a titration of a weak acid)

(d) Titrant volume = 37.50 mL. This volume represents a stoichiometric excess of titrant, and a reaction solution containing both the titration product, acetate ion, and the excess strong titrant. In such solutions, the solution pH is determined primarily by the amount of excess strong base:

[OH]=(0.003750 mol0.00250 mol)0.06250 L=2.00×10−2M[OH]=(0.003750 mol0.00250 mol)0.06250 L=2.00×10−2M
pOH=−log(2.00×10−2)=1.70, and pH=14.001.70=12.30pOH=−log(2.00×10−2)=1.70, and pH=14.001.70=12.30

Check Your Learning Calculate the pH for the weak acid/strong base titration between 50.0 mL of 0.100 M HCOOH(aq) (formic acid) and 0.200 M NaOH (titrant) at the listed volumes of added base: 0.00 mL, 15.0 mL, 25.0 mL, and 30.0 mL.

Answer:

0.00 mL: 2.37; 15.0 mL: 3.92; 25.00 mL: 8.29; 30.0 mL: 12.097

Performing additional calculations similar to those in the preceding example permits a more full assessment of titration curves. A summary of pH/volume data pairs for the strong and weak acid titrations is provided in Table 14.2 and plotted as titration curves in Figure 14.18. A comparison of these two curves illustrates several important concepts that are best addressed by identifying the four stages of a titration:

initial state (added titrant volume = 0 mL): pH is determined by the acid being titrated; because the two acid samples are equally concentrated, the weak acid will exhibit a greater initial pH

pre-equivalence point (0 mL < V < 25 mL): solution pH increases gradually and the acid is consumed by reaction with added titrant; composition includes unreacted acid and the reaction product, its conjugate base

equivalence point (V = 25 mL): a drastic rise in pH is observed as the solution composition transitions from acidic to either neutral (for the strong acid sample) or basic (for the weak acid sample), with pH determined by ionization of the conjugate base of the acid

postequivalence point (V > 25 mL): pH is determined by the amount of excess strong base titrant added; since both samples are titrated with the same titrant, both titration curves appear similar at this stage.

pH Values in the Titrations of a Strong Acid and of a Weak Acid
Volume of 0.100 M NaOH Added (mL) Moles of NaOH Added pH Values 0.100 M HCl1 pH Values 0.100 M CH3CO2H2
0.0 0.0 1.00 2.87
5.0 0.00050 1.18 4.14
10.0 0.00100 1.37 4.57
15.0 0.00150 1.60 4.92
20.0 0.00200 1.95 5.35
22.0 0.00220 2.20 5.61
24.0 0.00240 2.69 6.13
24.5 0.00245 3.00 6.44
24.9 0.00249 3.70 7.14
25.0 0.00250 7.00 8.72
25.1 0.00251 10.30 10.30
25.5 0.00255 11.00 11.00
26.0 0.00260 11.29 11.29
28.0 0.00280 11.75 11.75
30.0 0.00300 11.96 11.96
35.0 0.00350 12.22 12.22
40.0 0.00400 12.36 12.36
45.0 0.00450 12.46 12.46
50.0 0.00500 12.52 12.52
Table 14.2
Two graphs are shown. The first graph on the left is titled “Titration of Weak Acid.” The horizontal axis is labeled “Volume of 0.100 M N a O H added (m L).” Markings and vertical gridlines are provided every 5 units from 0 to 50. The vertical axis is labeled “p H” and is marked every 1 unis beginning at 0 extending to 14. A red curve is drawn on the graph which increases steadily from the point (0, 3) up to about (20, 5.5) after which the graph has a vertical section from (25, 7) up to (25, 11). The graph then levels off to a value of about 12.5 from about 40 m L up to 50 m L. The midpoint of the vertical segment of the curve is labeled “Equivalence point p H, 8.72.” The second graph on the right is titled “Titration of Strong Acid.” The horizontal axis is labeled “Volume of 0.100 M N a O H added (m L).” Markings and vertical gridlines are provided every 5 units from 0 to 50. The vertical axis is labeled “p H” and is marked every 1 units beginning at 0 extending to 14. A red curve is drawn on the graph which increases gradually from the point (0, 1) up to about (22.5, 2.2) after which the graph has a vertical section from (25, 4) up to nearly (25, 11). The graph then levels off to a value of about 12.4 from about 40 m L up to 50 m L. The midpoint of the vertical segment of the curve is labeled “Equivalence point p H, 7.00.”
Figure 14.18 (a) The titration curve for the titration of 25.00 mL of 0.100 M HCl (strong acid) with 0.100 M NaOH (strong base) has an equivalence point of 7.00 pH. (b) The titration curve for the titration of 25.00 mL of 0.100 M acetic acid (weak acid) with 0.100 M NaOH (strong base) has an equivalence point of 8.72 pH.

Acid-Base Indicators

Certain organic substances change color in dilute solution when the hydronium ion concentration reaches a particular value. For example, phenolphthalein is a colorless substance in any aqueous solution with a hydronium ion concentration greater than 5.0 ×× 10−9 M (pH < 8.3). In more basic solutions where the hydronium ion concentration is less than 5.0 ×× 10−9 M (pH > 8.3), it is red or pink. Substances such as phenolphthalein, which can be used to determine the pH of a solution, are called acid-base indicators. Acid-base indicators are either weak organic acids or weak organic bases.

The equilibrium in a solution of the acid-base indicator methyl orange, a weak acid, can be represented by an equation in which we use HIn as a simple representation for the complex methyl orange molecule:

HIn(aq)+H2O(l)H3O+(aq)+In(aq)redyellowHIn(aq)+H2O(l)H3O+(aq)+In(aq)redyellow
Ka=[H3O+][In][HIn]=4.0×10−4Ka=[H3O+][In][HIn]=4.0×10−4

The anion of methyl orange, In, is yellow, and the nonionized form, HIn, is red. When we add acid to a solution of methyl orange, the increased hydronium ion concentration shifts the equilibrium toward the nonionized red form, in accordance with Le Châtelier’s principle. If we add base, we shift the equilibrium towards the yellow form. This behavior is completely analogous to the action of buffers.

The perceived color of an indicator solution is determined by the ratio of the concentrations of the two species In and HIn. If most of the indicator (typically about 60−90% or more) is present as In, the perceived color of the solution is yellow. If most is present as HIn, then the solution color appears red. The Henderson-Hasselbalch equation is useful for understanding the relationship between the pH of an indicator solution and its composition (thus, perceived color):

pH=pKa+log([In][HIn])pH=pKa+log([In][HIn])

In solutions where pH > pKa, the logarithmic term must be positive, indicating an excess of the conjugate base form of the indicator (yellow solution). When pH > pKa, the log term must be negative, indicating an excess of the conjugate acid (red solution). When the solution pH is close to the indicator pKa, appreciable amounts of both conjugate partners are present, and the solution color is that of an additive combination of each (yellow and red, yielding orange). The color change interval (or pH interval) for an acid-base indicator is defined as the range of pH values over which a change in color is observed, and for most indicators this range is approximately pKa ± 1.

There are many different acid-base indicators that cover a wide range of pH values and can be used to determine the approximate pH of an unknown solution by a process of elimination. Universal indicators and pH paper contain a mixture of indicators and exhibit different colors at different pHs. Figure 14.19 presents several indicators, their colors, and their color-change intervals.

This figure provides a graphical representation of indicators and color ranges. A horizontal axis is labeled “p H.” This axis begins at zero and increases by ones up to 13. The left side of the graphic provides a column with the names of indicators. To the right of each indicator name is either one or two colored bars that are shaded according to the indicator color at various p H ranges. From the top, the first row is labeled “Crystal violet.” The associated colored bar is yellow at its left end at a p H of 0 and changes to green and blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 1.8. The second row is labeled “Cresol red.” The associated colored bar is red at its left end at a p H of 1 and changes to orange and yellow moving right to its endpoint at a p H of just over 2. A second bar to its right is yellow at a p H of around 7 and proceeds through orange to red at a p H of about 9. The third row is labeled “Thymol blue.” The associated colored bar is red at its left end at a p H of nearly 1.2 and changes to orange and red moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 2.8. A second bar begins in yellow at a p H of 8 and proceeds through green and blue to its end at a p H of around 9.1. The fourth row is labeled “Erythrosin B.” The associated colored bar is red from a p H of 2.2 to its endpoint at a p H of 3.6. The fifth row is labeled “2 comma 4 dash Dinitrophenol.” The associated colored bar is white at its left end at a p H of 2.6 and changes to yellow at its endpoint at a p H of 4. The sixth row is labeled “Bromophenol blue.” The associated colored bar is yellow at its left end at a p H of 3 and changes to green and blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 4.5. The seventh row is labeled “Methyl orange.” The associated colored bar is red-orange at its left end at a p H of 4.2 and changes to yellow moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 6.3. The eighth row is labeled “Bromocresol green.” The associated colored bar is yellow at its left end at a p H of 3.8 and changes to green and blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 5.4. The ninth row is labeled “Methyl red.” The associated colored bar is orange at its left end at a p H of 4.2 and changes to yellow moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 6.3. The tenth row is labeled “Eriochrome * Black T.” The associated colored bar is red at its left end at a p H of 5 and changes to purple and blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 6.5. The eleventh row is labeled “Bromocresol purple.” The associated colored bar is yellow at its left end at a p H of 5.2 and changes to purple moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 6.8. The twelfth row is labeled “Alizarin.” The first associated colored bar is yellow-orange at its left end at a p H of 5.7 and changes to red moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 7.2. A second bar begins in red at a p H of 11 and changes to purple, then dark blue at its right end at a p H of 12.4. The thirteenth row is labeled “Bromothymol blue.” The associated colored bar is yellow at its left end at a p H of 6 and changes to green and blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 7.6. The fourteenth row is labeled “Phenol red.” The associated colored bar is yellow-orange at its left end at a p H of 6.8 and changes to orange and red moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 8.2. The fifteenth row is labeled “m dash Nitrophenol.” The associated colored bar is white at its left end at a p H of 6.8 and changes to yellow moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 8.6. The sixteenth row is labeled “o dash Cresolphthalein.” The associated colored bar is white at its left end at a p H of 8.3 and changes to red moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 9.8. The seventeenth row is labeled “Phenolphthalein.” The associated colored bar is white at its left end at a p H of 8 and changes to pink moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 10. The eighteenth row is labeled “Thymolphthalein.” The associated colored bar is light blue at its left end at a p H of 9.3 and changes to a deep, dark blue moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 10.5. The nineteenth row is labeled “Alizarin yellow R.” The associated colored bar is yellow-orange at its left end at a p H of 10 and changes to red moving right to its endpoint at a p H of 12.
Figure 14.19 This chart illustrates the color change intervals for several acid-base indicators.
A graph is shown which is titled “Titration of Weak Acid.” The horizontal axis is labeled “Volume of 0.100 M N a O H added (m L)” and begins at 0 with markings every 5 units up to 50. The vertical axis is labeled “p H” and begins at 0 and increases by single units up to 14. A red curve is drawn on the graph. The curve begins at (0, 3) and passes through the points (5, 4.1), (10, 4.7), (15, 5), (20, 5.5), and (22.5, 6), after which it rapidly increases, forming a vertical section centered at the point (25, 8.7). The rapid increase of the curve then levels off and the curve passes through the points (30, 12), (35, 12.4), (40, 12.5), (45, 12.6), and (50, 12.6). A brown rectangle extends horizontally across the graph covering the p H of 3 to 4.2 range. To the right, this rectangle is labeled “Methyl orange p H range.” A blue rectangle extends horizontally across the graph covering the p H of 4.6 to 8 range. To the right, this rectangle is labeled “Litmus p H range.” A purple rectangle extends horizontally across the graph covering the p H of 8.4 to 10 range. To the right, this rectangle is labeled “Phenolphthalein p H range.” The midpoint of the vertical segment of the curve is labeled “Equivalence point p H, 8.72.”
Figure 14.20 Titration curves for strong and weak acids illustrating the proper choice of acid-base indicator. Any of the three indicators will exhibit a reasonably sharp color change at the equivalence point of the strong acid titration, but only phenolphthalein is suitable for use in the weak acid titration.

The titration curves shown in Figure 14.20 illustrate the choice of a suitable indicator for specific titrations. In the strong acid titration, use of any of the three indicators should yield reasonably sharp color changes and accurate end point determinations. For this titration, the solution pH reaches the lower limit of the methyl orange color change interval after addition of ~24 mL of titrant, at which point the initially red solution would begin to appear orange. When 25 mL of titrant has been added (the equivalence point), the pH is well above the upper limit and the solution will appear yellow. The titration's end point may then be estimated as the volume of titrant that yields a distinct orange-to-yellow color change. This color change would be challenging for most human eyes to precisely discern. More-accurate estimates of the titration end point are possible using either litmus or phenolphthalein, both of which exhibit color change intervals that are encompassed by the steep rise in pH that occurs around the 25.00 mL equivalence point.

The weak acid titration curve in Figure 14.20 shows that only one of the three indicators is suitable for end point detection. If methyl orange is used in this titration, the solution will undergo a gradual red-to-orange-to-yellow color change over a relatively large volume interval (0–6 mL), completing the color change well before the equivalence point (25 mL) has been reached. Use of litmus would show a color change that begins after adding 7–8 mL of titrant and ends just before the equivalence point. Phenolphthalein, on the other hand, exhibits a color change interval that nicely brackets the abrupt change in pH occurring at the titration's equivalence point. A sharp color change from colorless to pink will be observed within a very small volume interval around the equivalence point.

Footnotes

  • 1 Titration of 25.00 mL of 0.100 M HCl (0.00250 mol of HCI) with 0.100 M NaOH.
  • 2 Titration of 25.00 mL of 0.100 M CH3CO2H (0.00250 mol of CH3CO2H) with 0.100 M NaOH.
Citation/Attribution

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book is Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/chemistry-2e/pages/1-introduction
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/chemistry-2e/pages/1-introduction
Citation information

© Feb 14, 2019 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.