DILUTIONS AND DILUTION FACTORS For questions pertaining to dilutions, we use the equation:

For questions pertaining to dilution factors, we use the equation:

Sample volume is the volume of the solution being diluted; total volume is the sample volume in addition to the volume of the diluent. _______________________________________________________________________ Example: What is the dilution factor when 2 mL of a sample is mixed in 8 mL of water? Solution: This question asks us to find the dilution factor of a solution, so we use the equation for finding the dilution factor:

Our sample volume in the question is 2 mL. We can get the total volume by adding our sample volume (2 mL) to the volume of water (8 mL). The total volume is found to be 10 mL (2 mL + 8 mL).
Dilution factor  2 mL 10 mL

Dilution factor = 0.2 We have found our dilution factor to be 0.2X. Now let’s find the dilution of the sample.
Dilution  sample volume : total volume

Dilution = 2:10 or 1:5 Therefore, we have found the dilution of the sample to be 1:5.

SERIAL DILUTIONS For questions pertaining to serial dilutions we use the equation:

DFT is the total dilution factor of a serial dilution; DFn is the dilution factor of a specific dilution in the series. _______________________________________________________________________ Example: What is the dilution factor of a substance to which three 1:5 dilutions have been performed? Solution: To solve a problem with serial dilutions, we first must find the dilution factor of each dilution using the equation

DF1 =

1  0.2 5 1  0.2 5
1  0.2 5

DF2 =

DF3 =

Now we multiply these to get our total dilution factor for our serial dilution. DFT = 0.2  0.2  0.2  0.008 . Therefore, the dilution factor for our serial dilutions is 0.008X.

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