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Acid–Base Titration Curves

An acid–base titration is a procedure for determining the amount of acid (or
base) in
a solution by determining the volume of base (or acid) of known concentration
that
will completely react with it. < An acid–base titration curve is a plot of the pH of
a
solution of acid (or base) against the volume of added base (or acid). Such
curves
are used to gain insight into the titration process. You can use the titration curve
to
choose an indicator that will show when the titration is complete.
Titration of a Strong Acid by a Strong Base
Figure 16.12 shows a curve for the titration of 25.0 mL of 0.100 M HCl by 0.100 M
NaOH. Note that the pH changes slowly at first until the molar amount of base
added nearly equals that of the acid—that is, until the titration is near the
equivalence point.
The equivalence point is the point in a titration when a stoichiometric amount of
reactant has been added. At the equivalence point, the pH of this solution of NaOH
and HCl
is 7.0, because it contains a salt, NaCl, that does not hydrolyze. However, the pH
changes
rapidly near the equivalence point, from a pH of about 3 to a pH of about 11. To
detect
the equivalence point, you add an indicator that changes color within the pH
range 3–11.
Phenolphthalein can be used, because it changes from colorless to pink in the pH
range
8.2–10.0. (Figure 15.10 showed the pH ranges for the color changes of
indicators.) Even
though this color change occurs on the basic side, only a fraction of a drop of
base is
required to change the pH several units when the titration is near the
equivalence point.
The indicator bromcresol green, whose color changes in the pH range 3.8–5.4,
would
also work. Because the pH change is so large, many other indicators could be
used.

Titration of a Weak Base by a Strong Acid When you titrate a weak base by a strong acid. Titration of a Weak Acid by a Strong Base The titration of a weak acid by a strong base gives a somewhat different curve. The titration starts at a higher pH than the titration of HCl.100 M NH3 by 0. it changes color in the range 8. Bromcresol green would not work because it changes color in the range 3. This happens because at the equivalence point the solution is that of the salt.0.0 mL of 0.13 shows the curve for the titration of 25.100 M NaOH. because nicotinic acid is a weak acid. The optimum choice of indicator would be one that changes color over a range that includes the pH of the equivalence point. Figure 16. which occurs before the titration curve rises steeply. Figure 16. the pH changes slowly at first. In this .4.8–5.The following example shows how to calculate a point on the titration curve of a strong acid and a strong base.2–10.100 M nicotinic acid.14 shows the pH changes during the titration of 25. As before. Phenolphthalein would work. HC6H4NO2. Note that the pH range is shorter than that for the titration of a strong acid by a strong base. This means that the choice of an indicator is more critical.100 M HCl. which is basic from the hydrolysis of the nicotinate ion. by 0. Note also that the equivalence point for the titration curve of nicotinic acid occurs on the basic side. then rapidly near the equivalence point. The following example shows how to calculate the pH at the equivalence point in the titration of a weak acid and a strong base. you get a titration curve similar to that obtained when a weak acid is titrated by a strong base. sodium nicotinate. The pH range in which the rapid change is seen occurs from about pH 7 to pH 11.0 mL of 0.

you performed a titration and graphed the changes in the pH of acetic acid solution as sodium hydroxide solution was added. they can calculate the unknown concentration.5 is focused on the titration of a weak base by a strong acid.case. which happens over a range of about 2 pH units. As you can see in Figure 8. the pH declines slowly at first. is a possible indicator for this titration. Methyl red. (darell) Acid-Base Titration Curves In Investigation 8-A. If chemists know the volumes of both solutions at the equivalence point. Although Example 16. Therefore. the change in colour usually takes place in a fraction of a millilitre. then falls abruptly from about pH 7 to pH 3. Note that phenolphthalein could not be used to find the equivalence point. The equivalence point is the point in a titration when the acid and base that are present completely react with each other.8. The endpoint of a titration occurs when the indicator changes colour. the equivalence point is the middle of the steep rise that occurs in a titration curve. . which changes color from yellow at pH 6. Chemists have access to a variety of indicators that change colour at different pH values.0 to red at pH 4. with the usual goal of determining the concentration of one of the reactants. the concepts and operational skills apply to the other types of acid–base titrations. and the concentration of one of them.11. The pH changes rapidly near the equivalence point. with the addition of a single drop of solution. A graph of the pH of an acid (or base) against the volume of an added base (or acid) is called an acid-base titration curve. Titrations are common analytical procedures that chemists perform. This last section covering acid–base titrations is an ideal place to illustrate how titration problems can be configured to encompass many of the ideas and problemsolving approaches encountered in this chapter.

or be close to. will illustrate this point. Some representative acid-base titration curves. Titration Curve for a Strong Acid With a Strong Base These titrations have a pH of 7 at equivlence. 8. Indicators such as phenolphthalein. and bromocresol green can be used.13.12.The colour changes and ranges for three common indicators are given in Table 8. . shown in Figures 8. When an indicator is used in a titration. methyl red. Many chemists prefer phenolphthalein because the change from colourless to pink is easy to see. because their endpoints are close to the equivalence point.11. the equivalence point. the range of pH values at which its endpoint occurs must include.4. and 8.

12. Methyl red is not. the equivalence point occurs at a pH of 8. In the titration shown in Figure 8. Therefore.Figure 8. because its endpoint is too far from the equivalence point. . phenolphthalein is a good indicator for this titration.11 The curve for astrong acid-strong base titration Titration Curve for a Weak Acid With a Strong Base These titrations have pH values that are greater than 7 at equivalence. The equivalence point in the titration shown in Figure 8.13. Titration Curve for a Weak Base With a Strong Acid These titrations have pH values that are less than 7 at the equivalence point.80.

You may have noticed the absence of a curve for the reaction of a weak acid with a weak base. because it has competing equilibria. Section Summary In this section. occurs at a pH of 5. you examined acid-base titration curves for combinations of strong and weak acids and bases.27. Chemirstry 12 . A weak acid-weak base titration curve is difficult to describe quantitatively. You may learn about this curve in future chemistry courses. Either methyl red or bromocresol green could be used as an indicator. but not phenolphthalein.involving ammonia and hydrochloric acid.