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Identifying an Unknown Weak Acids Experiment

Identifying an Unknown Weak Acids Experiment



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Published by: geek3112 on Oct 12, 2010
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 An experiment is conducted to identify an unknownmonoprotic acid by obtaining the pKa value form titration curves. 10millilitres of the unknown acid is titrated with approximately 0.1 M of sodium hydroxide solution. Three trials are conducted and thereforethree titration curves are plotted. The values of pKa and Ka of theunknown acid from the titration process are 4.537 and 2.90 x 10
 respectively. Whereas, the pKa and Ka values obtained from usingthe initial pH of the unknown acid are 4.81 and 1.53 x 10
 respectively. Theoretically, the pKa and Ka values of the unknownmonoprotic acid, which is believed to be of acetic acid are 4.75 and1.76 x 10
. Therefore, an error of 4.48 percents of the pKa valueand 64.77 percents of the Ka value from the titration process arecalculated. Meanwhile, an error of 1.26% and 13.1% of pKa and Kavalues obtained from using the initial pH of the unknown acid iscalculated. Therefore, there is only a slight difference from thetheoretical value compared to the values from th etitration process.Hence, the unknown monoprotic acid is identified as acetic acid andthe value determined from using the initial pH value of the acid is amore accurate method. The experiment is completed andsuccessfully conducted.
  Acid-base titration is a method of neutralization process whichprovides information regarding the properties as well as nature of either acid or base applied during the process. Likewise, it is usefulto determine the molecular mass and pKa values of the substances.The end-point of such titration can be monitored by using indicatorsor as what is used in this experiment, a pH meter with electrodes. A titration curve is a graph of measured pH values obtainedfrom pH meter readings versus volume of titrant being added inmillimetres. Basically, the most important information that issupposed to be obtained from acid-base titration is the equivalencepoint. The equivalence point is theoretically reached when thenumber of moles of base being added into the Erlenmeyer flask isequal to the number of moles of acid.
t occurs in the titration curvein the region where there is a large and noticeable change in pHwith a relatively small change in volume of titrant.
 The experiment is conducted to achieve main objective, whichis to identify the unknown monoprotic acid by comparing thecalculated average Ka values from the data obtained from thisexperiment with the Ka values of some common acids found in ageneral chemistry book.
n order to get the Ka values for theunknown acid, it can be obtained by performing titration processbased on the pH value. Besides that, the Ka value can also bedetermined by using the initial pH of the unknown monoprotic acid.
n this experiment, we will be dealing with monoprotic acid.Based on Brønsted and Lowry, an acid is a proton donor whereas abase is a proton acceptor. This portrays a very important idea tounderstanding monoprotic and polyprotic acids and bases sincemonoprotic, as a matter of fact, is basically referred to the transfer of one proton. On the contrary, polyprotic corresponds to thetransfer of more than one proton. Therefore, monoprotic acid is anacid that can donate one proton while polyprotic acid is an acid thatcan donate more than one proton. To be more precise, monoprotic

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