You are on page 1of 28

METTLER TOLEDO Titrators

Res

f Lim
Con
ne
t i o n Li
b ra
Cali
f Lim
Con

VEQ V

Det Lim Conc

Validation of Titration Methods


Application brochure 16
Editorial

Dear Reader

this Application Brochure provided by METTLER TOLEDO shows you how to


validate a titration method. The recommendations and remarks have been put to-
gether by Chris Walter, Application Chemist of the Market Support AnaChem. He
also measured all the results and evaluated them.
A validation of a method brings indeed some work, but thoughtful planning and
careful preparation limit the efforts. And you win a reliable method which you daily
apply with certainty.
We got the preface by courtesy of a user in the pacific region, who is a long time
expert in method making.

We wish you many successful titrations

G. Reutemann H. Huber
Manager Market Support Regional Market Manager
North East Asia

Page 2/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


Contents

Preface .................................................................................................................. 4
1 Summary .............................................................................................................. 5
2 Principle of Validation ......................................................................................... 5
3 Steps of Validation and Recommended Limits ................................................. 6
3.1 Definition of Accuracy .......................................................................................... 6
3.2 Definition of Precision .......................................................................................... 6
3.3 Systematic Errors and Linearity ............................................................................ 7
3.3.1 Definition of Systematic Errors ............................................................................. 7
3.3.2 Definition of Linearity ........................................................................................... 7
3.4 Definition of Robustness and Ruggedness ............................................................ 8
3.5 Definition of Determination Limit ........................................................................ 9
4 Practical Hints ................................................................................................... 10
4.1 Preparations and Precautions ............................................................................... 10
4.2 Titration Control Parameters ............................................................................... 10
4.3 Titration Evaluation Parameters .......................................................................... 10
4.4 Titration ............................................................................................................... 11
5 Possible Sources of Error .................................................................................. 11
6 Recommendations for Troubleshooting ........................................................... 12
7 Results not Conforming to Specifications ....................................................... 13
8 Examples ............................................................................................................ 14
8.1 Determination of Sulphuric Acid ........................................................................ 14
8.2 Titer Determination ............................................................................................. 15
8.3 Precision and Accuracy ....................................................................................... 16
8.4 Systematic Errors, Linearity ................................................................................ 17
8.5 Robustness and Ruggedness ................................................................................ 18
8.6 Determination Limit ............................................................................................ 20
8.7 Closing Remarks ................................................................................................. 21
9 Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 22
10 Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 24
10.1 Assessment of Results ......................................................................................... 24
10.2 Precision versus Accuracy ................................................................................... 24
11 Glossary .............................................................................................................. 25
12 Literature ........................................................................................................... 26

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 3/28


Preface
In this increasingly competitive world of business, the challenge of delivering highest-qual-
ity products to consumers is a must. Behind any quality product are robust analytical meth-
ods that ensure accurate addition of ingredients needed to deliver what is promised.

The method must be simple yet accurate. Serious consideration must be given to the possibil-
ity of the method being automated. This strategy eliminates human errors, increases produc-
tivity and reduces the time needed to release the product to consumers without compromising
method accuracy and reproducibility hence, product quality. Of course along with all the
methods simplification comes analysis cost-saving. In addition, the method must be environ-
ment-friendly via reduction, if not elimination, of the conventional use of organic solvents,
especially non-biodegradable and toxic chemical reagents.

Accepted protocols/SOP's followed during method validation work are generally universal,
irrespective of country, industry, company or product category. The only thing that is differ-
ent between them is the accuracy required, with the strictest limits applied to those products
prepared for human consumption, e.g., food and medicine.

In this brochure, METTLER TOLEDO summarizes the general method development protocols.
These include accuracy, reproducibility, linearity, ruggedness and limit of determination. Each
method must pass all these tests, just like the consumer products for which the method will be
used.

Page 4/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


1 Summary
The goal of all measurements and determinations is to generate correct results. Correct re-
sults are accurate compared to the true value and precise in their statistical deviation [1].

A detailed method is applied to obtain correct results. This method describes all the different
steps from the sampling to the result. Whether correct results can be obtained or not with a
certain method has to be validated. Validation of a method comprises tests for accuracy,
precision, linearity, systematic errors, robustness/ruggedness and detection limit/determina-
tion limit. So the validation of a method proves, whether or not the instruments used for this
purpose fulfill the specific requirements.

In the context of validation a variety of expressions is used. Please refer to the glossary
(chapter 11) for a short definition of the expressions used in this brochure.

2 Principle of Validation
Accuracy, Precision, Linearity, Systematic Errors, Robustness/Ruggedness and Determina-
tion limit are checked, considering the complete analytical procedure from taking the sample
to result calculation and documentation.

Use of a standard substance (Primary standard) allows the assessment of accuracy.


Statistical evaluation of multiple sample series shows precision/reproducibility.
Varying the analyte concentration indicates the linearity and systematic errors.
If the results show no deviations due to different analysts, time or day of analysis, instru-
ments and electrodes, temperature or matrix effects, the method can be considered as
robust/rugged.
The smallest amount of substance giving a detectable potential change with a quantifiable
titrant consumption is the detection limit. The smallest amount of sample that can be ti-
trated with a good precision is the determination limit. So for the validation only the
determination limit is needed, since it includes the detection limit.

The following application serves as a guideline, showing how a titration method can be vali-
dated. As an example, the method for the determination of sulphuric acid was validated.

Recommended limits for accuracy, reproducibility and linearity are subject to the tested method.
Other methods e.g. analysis of foods and drugs may require much stricter limits.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 5/28


3 Steps of Validation and Recommended Limits
The titrant to be used in this validation has to be standardised first against a primary standard.
Primary standards are commercially available substances with the following characteristics
[1], [2], [3]:

Clearly defined composition and high degree of purity.


Large equivalent mass (minimizing weighing errors).
Accurately weighable (not hygroscopic, insensitive to oxygen and/or CO2).
Stable in solutions and easily soluble in adequate solvents.
Rapid and stoichiometric reaction with the titrant.

See appendix 1 for typical combinations of titrant and primary standard.

3.1 Definition of Accuracy


Multiple series of standard samples or of samples with exactly known concentration are ti-
trated. The analyte concentration therein should cover the complete determination range. The
sample size should be varied randomly and result in a consumption of titrant of ca. 30 to 90%
of the burette volume. A refilling of the burette should be avoided.
The mean value x of each series represents the result of the titration. The difference between
this mean value and the true value (i.e. the known concentration) allows the determination of
accuracy.

Recommendation:
Results obtained should not deviate from the true value by more than 0.3%.

3.2 Definition of Precision


Multiple series of a sample are titrated. Thereby the analyte concentration in the titration
beaker should cover the complete determination range. This is done by varying the sample
size randomly so that a titrant consumption of ca. 30 to 90% of the burette volume results. A
refilling of the burette should be avoided.
An outlier test according to Grubbs [1] is performed on the results of these sample series in
order to eliminate distinct outliers. Then a statistical evaluation is performed on each sample
series to get the mean value and the relative standard deviation RSD. The RSD expresses the
precision of the method.
Recommendation:
The relative standard deviation obtained from individual samples series should not be greater
than 0.3%.

Page 6/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


3.3 Systematic Errors and Linearity
To discover systematic errors and the linearity of the method, the titrant consumption ob-
tained in Chapter 3.2 is plotted against the respective sample size which determines the analyte
concentration per single analysis.
A linear regression is performed on these data. The regression line is described by the for-
mula y = a + bx , where a represents the intercept on the y-axis and b is the slope of the
regression line.

3.3.1 Definition of Systematic Errors

Systematic errors of a titration are for example disturbing influences due to the method itself
or to solvent blank values.
In the linear regression according to chapter 3.3 systematic errors show up as a significant
deviation of the y-axis intercept a of the regression line from the zero point coordinates (see
graph 1), i.e. asys is clearly different from zero.

graph 1:
volume
asys

sample size

Recommendation:
The systematic error asys should be smaller than 15 L. If it can not be eliminated by optimizing
the method or the reagents, it has to be corrected for in the results calculation of the titration
method.

3.3.2 Definition of Linearity

Linearity expresses whether a certain method produces correct results over the interesting
concentration range [4]. In titration the analyte concentration depends on the sample concen-
tration, on the sample size and on the solvent volume added for the analysis. By varying the
sample size and thereby the analyte concentration, the linearity of a titration method may be
detected in the range of interest.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 7/28


There are two practical ways to check a titration method for linearity:

A) The regression coefficient (R2) of the linear regression described in graph 1 must be
better than a given limit, depending on the demanded accuracy for the specific determi-
nation:
i.e. R2 > 0.995

B) A significant positive or negative slope b (resp R/V) of the regression line in graph
2 (results of the titration versus sample size) indicates a non-linearity of the titration
method, meaning that the result depends on the sample size.

graph 2:

result
result

non linear
linear

sample size sample size

Recommendation:
If R/V is greater than 0.1%, a systematic non-linearity has to be assumed.

3.4 Definition of Robustness and Ruggedness


The ROBUSTNESS describes whether a titration method is sensitive to "hardware effects",
such as different instruments (electrodes, titrators etc.), time and day of analysis, different
operators or varying ambiental conditions in different laboratories. To check the robustness,
the validation steps should be repeated with the same sample by different persons on differ-
ent days and on different titrators.
This kind of check also is recommended, if unsatisfactory results are subsequently obtained:
(a) during certain steps of the validation procedure and/or
(b) during the routine application of the method.

The RUGGEDNESS describes the correctness of the results obtained under disturbed experi-
mental (analytical) conditions such as different matrices (e.g. solutions, reagents etc.), other
temperatures of the analyte solution or elsewise deviating conditions. To determine rugged-
ness, the same sample is titrated with and without exposure to relevant disturbances. If the
results are the same, the method is considered to be rugged against this specific influence.

Page 8/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


The method is checked against influences likely to occur e.g. temperature deviations in a
specific laboratory or CO2 uptake of a titrant etc.
Multiple series of samples are titrated under the condition to be evaluated. The sample size
should be varied in random order and result in a consumption of titrant of ca. 30 to 90% of the
burette volume. Refilling of the burette should be avoided.
An outlier test according to Grubbs is performed on the results of the sample series in order to
eliminate distinct outliers. Then a statistical evaluation is performed on these experimental
data. The results obtained are compared with the results obtained in the precision evaluation.
If the method is rugged, there should not be any difference.
Recommendation:
In normal routine titration the deviation should not be greater than 0.3%.

3.5 Definition of Determination Limit


Since the detection limit for a specific titration method is of rather academic interest only, it
is not determined in a regular validation. Though in very special cases this could change.

The determination limit is determined by titrating sample series, each with a continuously
reduced amount of sample. The determination limit is the smallest amount of substance (mmol)
or sample, which can be titrated with a good precision (RSD) of 0.3%. It can be evaluated
by intrapolation of the graph amount of substance versus relative standard deviation.

determination limit
rel. stand. dev. [RSD]

0.3%
graph 3:
amount of substance [mmol]

In normal routine titration the determination limit is not a problem, since one can simply
enlarge the sample size to get a better response from the electrode. However, this can be
different, if the analyte has a very low concentration in the sample.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 9/28


4 Practical Hints

4.1 Preparations and Precautions


In order to obtain good results it is essential to observe the following points:

The primary standard must be dried in a drying oven (e.g. 2 h at 105 C, depending on the
type of primary standard) and cooled to ambient temperature in a desiccator for at least 1
hour. It should always be stored in a desiccator.
For acid/base endpoint titrations, it is necessary to calibrate the pH electrode. Certified
buffers from METTLER TOLEDO may be used for this purpose.
The experimental setup must be protected from direct sunlight and should be in thermal
equilibrium with the environment.
The analytical balance must have a vibration free standing and should be calibrated regu-
larly. METTLER TOLEDO balances of the MT, AT and PR series offer FACT (Fully
Automatic Calibration Technology), which automatically executes a calibration whenever
needed. All steps to ensure proper weighing must be observed [5].

4.2 Titration Control Parameters


The control parameters are subject to the titration performed. Titrations with primary stand-
ards should be executed with the same or very similar parameters as the titrations of the
sample. This is especially important for the basic settings such as [1]:

Titration mode: Endpoint


Equivalence point
Titrant addition: Dynamic Incremental
Continuous
Measure mode: Equilibrium
Fixed time interval

4.3 Titration Evaluation Parameters


The evaluation procedure is subject to the type of the titration reaction and the indication. For
acid/base titrations and by default, the standard evaluation procedure is applied.
Evaluation procedure: Standard Asymmetric
Maximum Minimum
Segmented

Page 10/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


4.4 Titration

Samples should be titrated immediately after weighing and dissolution. Enough solvent
must be added to cover the sensor.
When performing a series of titrations, the interval time between samples should be kept
to a minimum.
In sample series, the electrode as well as stirrer and temperature sensor should be rinsed
between two measurements.
Temperature compensation is essential for pH endpoint titrations.

5 Possible Sources of Error


Primary standard unsuitable, impure, moist, inhomogeneous, no guaranteed primary
standard quality, contaminated (e.g. by CO2, O2).

Sample size/Balance balance not accurate, air humidity too high or too low, contami-
nated balance, temperature changes or gradient from titration ves-
sel to balance, careless weighing, sample weight, concentration or
volume too low or too high, sample inhomogeneous, improper
sampling.

Titration vessel contaminated, unsuitable.

Dispensing unit tube connections not tight, contaminated burette cylinder (visible
corrosion marks), leaky piston (liquid film or crystals below the
piston), leaking burette tip, air in tubing system, three-way stop-
cock leaking.

Sample matrix effects from other species.

Reaction kinetics too slow.

Solvent impure (blank value), poor solubilising power, not stable, contami-
nated (e.g. by CO2, O2), wrong pH value or ionic strength.

Titrant impure, decomposed, contaminated (e.g. by CO2), light sensitive,


wrong pH value or ionic strength, very high or low concentration.

Measurement unsuitable sensor type, contaminated electrode, blocked diaphragm,


loose contact at connector, faulty cable, poor mixing of sample
solution, unfavourable arrangement of burette tip and electrode,
excessive response time of electrode, insufficient rinsing of elec-
trode and stirrer before the next titration.

Titration parameters unsuitable titration mode, wrong measure mode parameters, titra-
tion rate too fast or too slow, unsuitable evaluation procedure.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 11/28


Temperature temperature fluctuations, especially perceptible with titrants in
organic solvents, highly endothermal or exothermal reaction.

Environmental changing, fluctuating, adverse conditions (humidity, temperature,


lighting).

6 Recommendations for Troubleshooting


a) Relative Standard Deviation too high
(poor reproducibility)
Ensure complete dissolution of the weighed sample in the solvent.
Optimise the arrangement of burette tip, electrode and stirrer.
Regenerate or replace the electrode.
Optimise titration parameters (see METTLER TOLEDO Application Brochures).
Remove the burette, clean and possibly change tubing as well as piston and/or cylinder.
Weigh the sample only after establishing a temperature equilibrium between balance, ti-
tration vessel and sample.
Increase the sample concentration if possible.
Select bigger or smaller burette size.
Check temperature of sample solution (e.g. use water bath).
Optimise pH value of sample solution (e.g. add buffer).

b) Relative Systematic Deviation too high


(accuracy unsatisfactory)
Use pure solvent (without blank value), degass the water if necessary.
Dry the primary standard substance.
Ensure complete dissolution of the weighed sample in the solvent before titration starts.
Visual inspection of the burette and its replacement if need be.
Check electrode. Eventually regenerate or replace.
Check titration parameters.
Increase the sample concentration if possible.
Check the balance.
Optimise solution temperature using a water bath, and pH value adding a buffer.
Increase concentration of sample solution if possible.
Reduce, if not eliminate possible influences, e.g. filtration, centrifugation, extraction etc.

Page 12/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


7 Results not Conforming to Specifications
If inaccurate or imprecise results, systematic errors, non-linearity or problems with the ro-
bustness/ruggedness are found, an attempt must be made to optimise the titration method in
order to meet the required limits.
In some cases it may be necessary to use an unchanged method. However, systematic errors
and non-linearity can then be compensated for in the calculations.

All non-conforming values must be reported and commented on in the validation record and
the subsequent procedure noted and explained.

If relevant deviations are found, the sections Possible Sources of Error and Recommen-
dations for Troubleshooting must be checked carefully and the disturbing influences elimi-
nated. It is essential to repeat the validation afterwards.

The titrators of METTLER TOLEDO have undergone various tests during development and
manufacturing. Furthermore, they have been time tested by numerous users in different ap-
plications all over the world and considered to be okay. If irregular results are obtained,
primary consideration should be given to the working technique of the operator or to wrong
or accidentally altered titration parameters.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 13/28


8 Examples

8.1 Determination of Sulphuric Acid


METTLER TOLEDO DL70 Titrator V1.0 Mettler Toledo AG
Jim 4 Market Support Laboratory

Sample: Sulphuric acid solution Method Val1 Determination of H2SO4


Version 22-Dec-1995 20:33
Substance: H2SO4 0.05 mol/L Title
Method ID . . . . . . . . . . . . Val1
Preparation: 40 mL deion. water Title . . . . . . . . . . .
Date/time . . . . . . . . .
. . . Determination of H2SO4
. . . 22-Dec-1995 20:33
Sample
Number samples . . . . . . . . . . 6
Titrant: Sodium hydroxide Titration stand . . . . . . . . . ST20 1
Entry type . . . . . . . . . . . . Fixed volume U
c(NaOH) = 1.0 mol/L Volume [mL] . . . . . . .
ID1 . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
30.0
H2SO4
Molar mass M . . . . . . . . . . . 98.08
Instruments: METTLER DL77 Equivalent number z . . . .
Temperature sensor . . . . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
2
TEMP A
Pump
Option RS232 Auxiliary reagent . . . . . . . . H2O
Volume [mL] . . . . . . . . . . . 30.0
Option Temperature Stir
Speed [%] . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Sample changer ST20A Time [s] . . . . . . . . . .
Titration
. . . 10

Titrant . . . . . . . . . . . . . NaOH
Printer HP Deskjet Concentration [mol/L] . . . . . . 1.0
Sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DG111-SC
Unit of meas. . . . . . . . . . . As installed
Accessories: DT120 T-sensor Titration mode . . . . . . . . . . EQP
Predispensing 1 . . . . . . . . mL
Volume [mL] . . . . . . . . 2
Indication: DG111-SC Titrant addition . . . .
E(set) [mV] . . . . .
.
.
.
.
.
.
DYN
8.0
Limits V . . . . . . . . . Absolute
V(min) [mL] . . . . . . 0.05
V(max) [mL] . . . . . . 0.3
Measure mode . . . . . . . . . EQU
E [mV] . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
t [s] . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0
t(min) [s] . . . . . . . . . 3.0
t(max) [s] . . . . . . . . . 15.0
Threshold . . . . . . . . . . . 3.0
Maximum volume [mL] . . . . . . 10.0
Termination after n EQPs . . . Yes
n = . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Evaluation procedure . . . . . Standard
Rinse
Auxiliary reagent . . . . . . . . H2O
Volume [mL] . . . . . . . . . . . 10.0
Calculation
Result name . . . . . . . . . . . H2SO4 Conc.
Formula . . . . . . . . . . . . . R=Q*C/U
Constant . . . . . . . . . . . . . C=M/z
Result unit . . . . . . . . . . . g/L
Decimal places . . . . . . . . . . 5
Record
Output unit . . . . . . . . . . . Printer
Raw results last sample . . . . . Yes
Table of values . . . . . . . . . Yes
E - V curve . . . . . . . . . . . Yes
Conditioning
Interval . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Time [s] . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Rinse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes
Auxiliary reagent . . . . . . . H2O
Volume [mL] . . . . . . . . . . 10.0
Statistics
Ri (i=index) . . . . . . . . . . . R1
Standard deviation s . . . . . . . Yes
Rel. standard deviation srel . . . Yes
Outlier test . . . . . . . . . . . Yes
Record
Output unit . . . . . . . . . . . Printer
All results . . . . . . . . . . . Yes

Page 14/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


8.2 Titer Determination

The titer of this NaOH (1.0 mol/L) was determined against the primary standard potassium
hydrogen phthalate (dried for 2 h at 150 C). The following results were obtained:

Results:

Number Size Result


[g] [] Titer vs. Sample Size
1.050
1 0.94376 1.0011
1.045 y = 1.0019 - 4.160e-4x
2 0.69729 1.0014
1.040
3 1.44905 1.0015
1.035
4 0.76393 1.0003
5 1.28186 1.0012 1.030

6 0.91697 1.0002 1.025


7 1.09282 1.0015 1.020
8 0.61858 1.0044 1.015

Titer
9 1.73847 1.0024 1.010
10 1.32274 1.0011
1.005
11 1.63289 1.0008
1.000
12 1.17670 1.0011
0.995
13 0.64051 1.0018
14 1.52071 1.0017 0.990

15 1.30135 1.0004 0.985

16 0.72725 1.0012 0.980


17 1.04305 1.0010 0.0 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.2 1.5 1.8

18 0.62867 1.0024 Sample Size [g]


19 1.79993 1.0009
20 1.68623 1.0017
21 1.77458 1.0010
22 1.38162 1.0024

Number of samples: 22
Mean value x: 1.0012
Standard deviation: 9.06 10-4
Relative Standard Deviation: 0.0905 %

Comment:

The standardization is highly reproducible and linear. Results do not depend on the sample
weight.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 15/28


8.3 Precision and Accuracy
To assess precision and accuracy of the method, a commercially available H2SO4 solution,
c(H2SO4) = 0.05 mol/L, was titrated with the titrant standardized in the previous chapter,
c(NaOH) = 1 mol/L.
The results were compared with the true value (compensated for a temperature of 21C) to
determine the ACCURACY, and the PRECISION was evaluated with the standard deviation
obtained from the measurements.

Results: Result H2SO4 vs. Sample Size [g/L]


950

945
Number Size Result Temperature:
y = 4.9106 - 1.030e-4x R =21
0.43 C
940 Theoretical Content: 4.9030 g/L
[mL] [g/L] 935 No. of Samples: 12
Mean Value: 4.90529 g/L
930
Stand. Dev.: 0.004752 g/L
1 75 4.90143 925
Rel. Stand. Dev.: 0.0968%
920
2 34 4.90828

H2SO4 [g/L]
1234567890123456789012345678
915
3 44 4.89803 1234567890123456789012345678
910
1234567890123456789012345678
4 60 4.90046 905 1234567890123456789012345678
1234567890123456789012345678
1234567890123456789012345678
5 35 4.90870 900

895
6 44 4.90672
890
7 77 4.89912 885

8 32 4.90273 880

9 52 4.90995 875 Theoretical content


870 Mean value
10 91 4.90584 0.3% from theor.
865
11 31 4.91109 1234 content
1234 S from mean
1234
860

12 42 4.91117 855 value


850
20 40 60 80 100

Sample Size [mL]

Number of samples: 12
Theoretical value: 4.9030 g/L
Mean value found: 4.90529 g/l
Deviation to theoretical: 0.00229 g/L
Relative deviation to theoretical: 0.0467%
Standard deviation: 0.04752 g/L
Relative standard deviation: 0.0968%

Comment:

Precision as well as accuracy are excellent. The requirements are easily met.

Page 16/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


8.4 Systematic Errors, Linearity
The equivalence volumes (VEQ) were plotted versus the sample size. A linear regression was
performed on these data to determine systematic errors. In case, systematic errors manifest
themselves in a significant deviation of the y axis intercept of the regression line from the
zero point coordinates (see diagram below).

Equivalence Volume vs. Sample Size


10

Size VEQ Result y = -0.00839 + 0.09997 x


9
[mL] [mL] [g/L] R2 = 0.9999
8

Equivalence Volume [mL]


75 7.4871 4.90143
7
34 3.3989 4.90828
44 4.3894 4.89803 6
60 5.9885 4.90046
35 3.4492 4.90870 5

43 4.3972 4.90672
4
77 7.6831 4.89912
32 3.1953 4.90273 3

52 5.2001 4.90995
2
91 9.0925 4.90584
31 3.1008 4.91109 1
42 4.2011 4.91117
0
0 20 40 60 80 100

Sample Size [mL]

Result vs. Sample Size


To determine the linearity there are two practical
4.95
ways, as we said in chapter 3.3.2.
4.94
The first one is to check the regression coefficient y = 4.9106 - 0.000103 x
H2SO4 [g/L]

(R2) of the linear regression above, which has to 4.93

be better than 0.995 to prove linearity. The


4.92
achieved R2 of 0.9999 proves an excellent linear-
ity of the method. 4.91

4.90
The second way to determine the linearity is to
plot the results of the titration (H2SO4 in g/L) 4.89
against the sample size, as one can see in the graph
nearby. Then a linear regression is performed on 4.88

these data. A significant positive or negative slope


4.87
b of the regression line y = a + bx indicates non-
linearity of the titration method, i.e. that the re- 4.86
sult depends on the sample size.
4.85
20 40 60 80 100

Sample Size [mL]

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 17/28


Comment:

The results show a systematic error (SE) and non-linearity (NL). Presumable causes are
pipetting errors when preparing the samples.

Systematic error: 8.4 L


Correl. coefficient R2 : 0.9999
Non linearity: 1 10-4 (g/L)/mL

SE as well as NL are very small and well below the recommended limits.

8.5 Robustness and Ruggedness


In this example the ruggedness of the method was tested against the carbon dioxide uptake of
the titrant only.

The uptake of carbon dioxide CO2 from ambient air is the major threat of alkaline titrants.
CO2 reacts to CO32-. Carbonate precipitation and reduction of the strength of the titrant are
the consequences.

Other analytical influences as well as the robustness (see chap. 3.4) can be checked in a
similar way.

The ruggedness of the sulphuric acid method was evaluated by exposing the titrant to air and
thereby also to CO2. Batches of NaOH titrants were exposed to air for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 days.
The CO32- content of each sample was determined by titration with sulphuric acid.
Result CO32- [mg/L]

CO32--Content 30000

Air exposure Result CO32-


[day] [mg/L] 20000

1 2526
2 5026
3 8793 10000
4 14422
6 20684
7 24568
0
0 2 4 6 8
Air exposure [days]

Page 18/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


The uptake of carbon dioxide is almost linear and very fast! After 2 days already 5 g/L CO32-
are present in the NaOH titrant. The NaOH concentration (as to OH-) thereby is reduced from
the initial 40 g/L to ca. 37 g/L in these two days.

Each NaOH batch was then standardised against potassium hydrogen phthalate. Then it was
used as the titrant to determine the H2SO4 concentration. The following table shows the cor-
responding results.

Air exposure Result Theoretical Systematic Reproducibility


[day] [g/L] content Deviation [%] (RSD) [%]

1 4.837 4.9017 1.31 0.051


2 4.586 4.9017 6.44 0.139
3 4.308 4.9020 12.11 0.178
4 4.152 4.9017 15.20 0.108
6 3.906 4.9040 20.35 0.162

Comment:

The method was found not to be rugged at all against exposure to air. Even the NaOH sample
exposed to air for only one day did not allow correct determinations any more.

Reason: When titrating strong acids with NaOH that contains CO32-, a typical double
jump of the titration curve is found, caused by the following reactions:

1. EQP: NaOH + H3O+ --> Na+ + 2 H2O


Na2CO3 + H3O+ --> NaHCO3 + H2O + Na+

2. EQP: NaHCO3 + H3O+ --> Na+ + 2 H2O + CO2

However, this double jump does not occur when titrating weak acids such as potassium hy-
drogen phthalate, which is mainly used for the titer determination. Therefore, the carbonate
error cannot be compensated for by frequent standardization of the titrant. It is advisable to
periodically check the carbonate content by a specific titration and dispose of the titrant if a
significant amount of carbonate is found.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 19/28


8.6 Determination Limit

The determination limit was examined using 0.005 mol/L NaOH. Series of 5 to 6 samples
were run, in order to check the reproducibility (RSD) with a low amount of sample.

No. of Mean Value Standard Relative Standard


Samples [mmol] Deviation [mmol] Deviation [%]

3 0.013135 0.000012 0.092


5 0.005380 0.000022 0.408
5 0.004065 0.000038 0.944
6 0.002735 0.000037 1.369
6 0.001335 0.000048 3.581
5 0.000785 0.000031 3.945

The results show, that in the sample with less than 0.01 mmol sulphuric acid the Relative
Standard Deviation RSD increases drastically and continuously, while the absolute standard
deviation s remains more or less constant. The uptake of CO2 from the air is very severe in
this concentration range. Therefore the titrant has to be protected from air intake with an
absorption tube filled with NaOH on a carrier. Even then, it remains usable only for one day.

The smallest amount of sub-


4
stance, which can be titrated with
RSD [%]

a good reproducibility of 0.3


% RSD, was determined by
intrapolation. As the following 3
graph shows, that is about 0.01
mmol H2SO4 per sample.

Comment: 2

The determination limit was


obtained with a titrant of very
1
low concentration, c(H2SO4) =
0.005 mol/L. When using the
standard NaOH solution of 1
mol/L, which was employed in 0
the other titrations in this bro- 0.000 0.005 0.010 0.015
chure, the determination limit is
mmol H2SO4
defined by the resolution of the
burette and not by the chemistry.

Page 20/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


8.7 Closing Remarks
It has been shown with this example how a titration method can be validated. The chosen
acid/base titration gave excellent results in all areas.

The limits for different parameters or the set up of priorities in the validation process have to
be adapted by the user depending on the method and the specifications for a given task (e.g.
other tests for the determination of ruggedness).

Anyway the basic course of a method validation remains the same. Thus, this example may
well serve as a guideline for further validations.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 21/28


9 Appendix 1:
Standardisation of Titrants
Titrant Standard Substance Merck Solvent and Intervall Protection of
Order Auxiliary Titrant / General
No. Reagents Remarks
Alkalimetry
Sodium hydroxide Potassium hydrogen 104876 Deion. H2 O weekly Protect from CO2
c(NaOH) = 1.0 mol/L phthalate (tube filled with
C 8H 5KO 4; M = 204.23 NaOH on carrier).
Dry at: 150 C
Sodium hydroxide Potassium hydrogen 104876 Deion. H2 O weekly Protect from CO2
c(NaOH) = 0.1 mol/L phthalate (tube filled with
C 8H 5KO 4; M = 204.23 NaOH on carrier).
Dry at: 150 C
Tetrabutyl ammonium Benzoic acid 100135 Isopropanol weekly Protect from CO2
hydroxide C 7H 6O 2; M = 122.12 (tube filled with
c(TBAH) = 0.1 mol/L Dry at: 105 C NaOH on carrier).
Sodium methylate Benzoic acid 100135 Methanol daily Protect from CO2
c(NaOCH3) = 0.1 mol/L C 7H 6O 2; M = 122.12 (tube filled with
Dry at: 105 C NaOH on carrier).
Potassium hydroxide Benzoic acid 100135 Ethanol weekly Protect from CO2
c(KOH) = 0.1 mol/L C 7H 6O 2; M = 122.12 (tube filled with
Dry at: 105 C NaOH on carrier).
Acidimetry
Sulfuric acid Tris(hydroxymethyl)- 108365 Deion. H2 O Every 2
c(1 /2 H2SO4) = 0.1 mol/L aminomethane [THAM] weeks
C4H 11NO 3; M = 121.14
Dry at: 105 C
Hydrochloric acid Tris(hydroxymethyl)- 108365 Deion. H2 O Every 2
c(HCl) = 0.1 mol/L aminomethane [THAM] weeks
C4H 11NO 3; M = 121.14
Dry at: 105 C
Perchloric acid Tris(hydroxymethyl)- 108365 Acetic acid weekly
c(HClO4) = 0.1 mol/L aminomethane [THAM]
C4H 11NO 3; M = 121.14
Dry at: 105 C
Precipitation
Silver nitrate Sodium chloride 106405 Deion. H2 O Every 2 Keep bottle in dark.
c(AgNO3) = 0.1 mol/L NaCl; M = 58.44 acidify to pH weeks
Dry at: 105 C 3.5
Barium chloride Sodium sulfate 106649 Deion. H2 O weekly
c(BaCl2) = 0.1 mol/L Na 2SO 4; M = 142.05 * 1) Buffer pH 4
Dry at: 105 C Thorin
Complexometry
Complexone III Calcium carbonate 102060 Deion. H2 O Every 2 Use PE bottles.
c(EDTA) = 0.1 mol/L CaCO 3; M = 100.09 Indicator- weeks
Dry at: 105 C buffer-tablet
Complexone VI Calcium carbonate 102060 Deion. H2 O Every 2 Use PE bottles.
c(EGTA) = 0.1 mol/L CaCO 3; M = 100.09 Indicator- weeks
Dry at: 105 C buffer-tablet

Page 22/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


Titrant Standard Substance Merck Solvent and Intervall Protection of
Order Auxiliary Titrant / General
No. Reagents Remarks
Redox - Titration (Reducing titrants)
Sodium thiosulfate Potassium iodate 105053 Hydrochloric biweekly
c(Na2S2O3) = 0.1 mol/L KIO3 M = 214.00 acid 0.1 M
Hydroquinone Potassium dichromate 104868 Sulfuric acid weekly Keep bottle in dark.
c(C6H6O2) = 0.1 mol/L K 2Cr2O 7 M = 294.19 5%
Ammonium ferrous (II) Potassium dichromate 104868 Sulfuric acid daily Protect from
sulfate K 2Cr2O 7 M = 294.19 5% Oxygen.
c(FAS) = 0.1 mol/L
Redox - Titration (Oxidizing titrants)
Iron(III) chloride Ascorbic acid 100127 Deion. water biweekly
c(FeCl3) = 0.1 mol/L C 6H 8O 6; M = 176.13 * 1)
Potassium dichromate (CH2NH3)2SO4 FeSO4 103914 Sulfuric acid biweekly
c(1 /6 K2Cr2O7) = 0.1 mol/L 4H 2O; M = 382.15 5%

Iodine di-Arsenic trioxide 100120 Deion. water daily Keep bottle in dark.
c(1 /2 I2) = 0.1 mol/L As 2O 3; M = 197.84 NaHCO3 Keep in PE bottles.
Keep cool.
Cerium sulfate di-Sodium oxalate 106556 Deion. water biweekly
c(Ce(SO4)2) = 0.1 mol/L C2Na2O 4; M=134.00 Sulfuric acid
5%
Potassium permanganate di-Sodium oxalate 106556 Sulfuric acid biweekly Keep bottle in dark.
c(1 /5 KMnO4) = 0.1 mol/L C2Na2O 4; M=134.00 5%; 70 C
Sodium nitrite Sulfanilic acid 100686 HBr weekly
c(NaNO2) = 0.1 mol/L C 6H 7NO 3S; M = 173.19 * 1) 0.5 mol/L
Fehling solution Glucose 1% in water 108337 Deion. water weekly Prepare Glucose
C6H 12O 6; M = 180.16 * 1) solution daily.
2,6-Dichlorophenol-indo- Ascorbic acid 100127 Deion. water daily Keep bottle in dark.
phenol sodium salt C 6H 8O 6; M = 176.13 * 1) Keep in PE bottles.
c(DPI) = 0.01 mol/L Keep cool.
Turbidimetric Titrations
Sodium dodecylsulfate N-Cetylpyridinium chlo- 102340 Deion. water biweekly Rinse bottle and
c(SDS) = 0.01 mol/L ride [CPC] monohydrate; * 1) beakers with deion.
M = 358.01 water before use.
Hyamine Sodium dodecylsulfate 112012 Deion. water biweekly Rinse bottle and
c(Hyamine) = 0.01 mol/L [SDS]; M = 288.4 * 1) beakers with deion.
water before use.
N-Cetylpyridinium chloride Sodium dodecylsulfate 112012 Deion. water biweekly Rinse bottle and
c(CPC) = 0.01 mol/L [SDS]; M = 288.4 * 1) beakers with deion.
water before use.

. * 1) These substances can not be acchieved as guaranteed primary standard substances from MERCK.
So the highest aviable quality is indicated.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 23/28


10 Appendix 2

10.1 Assessment of Results

Errors
Deviations from the correct or expected value

Gross errors Systematic errors Random errors

Avoid Accuracy Precision


The measurement The measurement
result is wrong result is unreliable

Correctness

10.2 Precision versus Accuracy

high precision
(small RSD)

low precision
(big RSD)

high accuracy low accuracy


(found = true) (found true)

Page 24/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


11 Glossary
Validation: A check whether or not correct results can be obtained with a given
method under all circumstances.
Correctness: The sum of accuracy and precision.
Accuracy: Deviation of the found value from the true (theoretical) value.
Precision: Also called repeatability. The results of a multiple determination
of a sample (e.g. 10 times in a row) do not diverge to much from
the found mean value (small relative standard deviation).
Systematic Errors: Result offsets due to method inherent parameters. Shows itself in
the linear regression titrant consumption versus sample size by
a y axis intercept, which is clearly different from zero.
Linearity: There has to be a linear correlation between the amount of sample
present and the titrant volume consumed. Therefore the correla-
tion coefficient of this regression has to exceed a certain value
(i.e. R2 0.995).
Or in the plot result of titration versus sample size of a single
sample the slope of the regression line should be zero. This shows
that the results do not depend on the sample size (i.e. dilution vol-
ume).
Robustness: Also called reproducibility. Closeness of the agreement between
the results of measurement of the same sample carried out under
changed conditions of measurement, such as different days, in-
struments, operators, laboratories, methods. Expressed as the rela-
tive standard deviation of the different results obtained.
Ruggedness: Inertness against chemical/physical influences likely to occur (sol-
vents, reagents, temperature, etc.).
Detection Limit: The smallest amount of substance giving a detectable potential
change and a quantifiable titrant consumption.
Determination Limit: The smallest amount of substance that can be titrated with a good
precision.
Sample: Sample to be analysed (liquid or solid).
Sample size: Exact volume or weight (of sample) used for the titration.
Analyte concentration: Concentration of the substance to be analysed in the titration beaker.

Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 25/28


12 Literature

[1] METTLER TOLEDO: Fundamentals of Titration, ME-704153A (1993).


[2] METTLER TOLEDO: Standardization of Titrants, Applications Brochures No. 8 and
9, ME-51724650 resp. ME- 51724652 (1994).
[3] MERCK: Primary Volumetric Standards; E. Merck AG, Darmstadt, D.
[4] Analytical Methods Committee: Uses (Proper and Improper) of Correlation Coeffi-
cients; Analyst, Vol. 113, pp 1469 - 71 (1988).
[5] METTLER TOLEDO: Encyclopedia of Weighing; ME-720113.
[6] G. Mcke: How Little is Nothing?, Fresenius Z Anal Chem, Vol. 320, pp 639 - 641
(1985).

This application bulletin represents selected, possible application examples. These have been tested with all possible
care in our lab with the analytical instrument mentioned in the bulletin. The experiments were conducted and the
resulting data evaluated based on our current state of knowledge.
However, the application bulletin does not absolve you from personally testing its suitability for your intended methods,
instruments and purposes. As the use and transfer of an application example are beyond our control, we cannot accept
responsibility therefore.
When chemicals and solvents are used, the general safety rules and the directions of the producer must be
observed.

Page 26/28 METTLER TOLEDO Validation of Titration Methods


Validation of Titration Methods METTLER TOLEDO Page 27/28
Mettler-Toledo GmbH METTLER TOLEDO on the WWW
Analytical
CH-8603 Schwerzenbach, Schweiz You can also reach us on the World Wide Web. There you
Telefon (01) 806 77 11, Fax (01) 806 73 50 will find information on other products and services of
Internet: http://www.mt.com METTLER TOLEDO and interesting information about our
company.
The address is http://www.mt.com
AT Mettler-Toledo GmbH., A-1100 Wien
Tel. +43-1-604 19 80, Fax +43-1-604 28 80
AU Mettler-Toledo Ltd., Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207
Tel. +61-3-9644 5700, Fax +61-3-9645 3935
BE N.V. Mettler-Toledo S.A., B-1932 Zaventem
Tel. +32-2-334 02 11, Fax +32-2-334 03 34
CH Mettler-Toledo (Schweiz) AG, CH-8606 Greifensee
Tel. +41-1-944 45 45, Fax +41-1-944 45 10
CN Mettler-Toledo (Shanghai) Ltd., Shanghai 200233
Tel. +86-21-6485 0435, Fax +86-21-6485 3351
CZ Mettler-Toledo, spol, s.r.o., CZ-12000 Praha 2
Tel. +420-2-25 49 62, Fax +420-2-2424 7583
DE Mettler-Toledo GmbH, D-35353 Giessen
Tel. +49-6-41 50 70, Fax +49-6-41 507 128
DK Mettler-Toledo A/S, DK-2600 Glostrup
Tel. +45-4327 0800, Fax +45-4327 0828
ES Mettler-Toledo S.A.E., E-08038 Barcelona
Tel. +34-3-223 22 22, Fax +34-3-223 02 71
FR Mettler-Toledo s.a., F-78222 Viroflay
Tel. +33-1-3097 1717, Fax +33-1-3097 1616
HK Mettler-Toledo (HK) Ltd., Kowloon
Tel. +852-2744 1221, Fax +852-2744 6878
HR Mettler-Toledo, d.o.o., HR-10000 Zagreb
Tel. +385-1-230 41 47, Fax +385-1-233 63 17
HU Mettler-Toledo, KFT, H-1139 Budapest
Tel. +36-1-288 40 40, Fax +36-1-288 40 50
IT Mettler-Toledo S.p.A., I-20026 Novate Milanese
Tel. +39-2-333 321, Fax +39-2-356 29 73
JP Mettler-Toledo K.K., Tokyo 143-0006
Tel. +81-3-5762-0606, Fax +81-3-5762-0756
KR Mettler-Toledo (Korea) Ltd., Seoul (135-090)
Tel. +82-2-518 20 04, Fax +82-2-518 08 13
KZ Mettler-Toledo CA, 480009 Almaty
Tel. +7- 3272-608 834, Fax +7-3272-608 835
MY Mettler-Toledo (M) Sdn. Bhd. 47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel. +60-3-703 27 73, Fax +60-3-703 17 72
MY Mettler-Toledo (S.E.A.), 47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel. +60-3-704 17 73, Fax +60-3-703 17 72
MX Mettler-Toledo S.A. de C.V., Mxico C.P. 06430
Tel. +52-5-547 57 00, Fax +52-5-541 22 28
NL Mettler-Toledo B.V., NL-4000 HA Tiel
Tel. +31-3-4463 8363, Fax +31-3-4463 8390
PL Mettler-Toledo, Sp. z o.o., PL-02-929 Warszawa
Tel. +48-22-651 92 32, Fax +48-22-651 71 72
RU Mettler-Toledo C.I.S. AG, 10 1000 Moscow
Tel. +7-095-921 92 11, Fax +7-095-921 63 53
SE Mettler-Toledo AB, S-12008 Stockholm
Tel. +46-8-702 50 00, Fax +46-8-642 45 62
SG Mettler-Toledo (S) Pte. Ltd., Singapore 139944
Tel. +65-7786 779, Fax +65-7786 639
SK Mettler-Toledo, SK-82104 Bratislava
Tel. +421-7-4342 7496, Fax +421-7-4333 7190
SI Mettler-Toledo, d.o.o., SI-1236 Trzin
Tel. +386-61-162 18 01, Fax +386-61-162 17 89
TH Mettler-Toledo (Thailand) Ltd., Bangkok 10310
Tel. +66-2-719 64 80, Fax +66-2-719 64 79
TW Mettler-Toledo Pac Rim AG, Taipei
Tel. +886-2-2579 5955, Fax +886-2-2579 5977
UK Mettler-Toledo Ltd., Leicester, LE4 1AW
Tel. +44-116-235 70 70, Fax +44-116-236 63 99
US Mettler-Toledo, Inc., Columbus, OH 43240
Tel. +1-614-438 4511, Fax +1-614-438 4900

For all other countries: Subject to technical changes


Mettler-Toledo GmbH 10/03 Mettler-Toledo GmbH, ME-51724912
PO Box, VI-400, CH-8606 Greifensee, Schweiz Printed in Switzerland on 100% chlorine-free
Tel. (01) 944 22 11, Fax (01) 944 31 70 paper, for the sake of our environment.