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Quantitative Techniques

Introduction

You have already performed titrations in your last practical session. This is a common

analytical technique that can be used for many analyses. In the last experiment the titration

was used with an acid-base reaction – a solution of base (sodium hydroxide) of known

A BIG Question

How do we unravel the causes of

disease?

Scientists all over the world are trying to determine

what causes many diseases and how to cure them –

cancer, AIDS, diabetes and neurological conditions

are just a few, high profile examples. Their research

(and therefore their ability to help people) is entirely

dependent on how careful and precise their

experimentation is. This practical provides another

chance for you to master some common laboratory

skills.

Foundations of Chemistry Laboratory Manual VITAMIN C DETERMINATION 3F

2

concentration was used to determine the concentration of a solution of sulphuric acid. Acids

and bases are found everywhere from food, to our bodies to cleaning products.

There are too many individual chemical reactions for chemists to be familiar with all of

them, so they are divided into categories of reaction that have specific features. For

example, all acid-base reactions like the one between sulphuric acid and sodium hydroxide,

involve an acid which donates a proton to a base. This means that if a chemist knows what

category a reaction falls into they can make predictions about it even if they are unfamiliar

with the specific reacting molecules.

Another category of chemical reaction is the “redox” category. Redox reactions involve one

reactant losing an electron (or electron density) to another reactant. You will learn about

this category of reaction in Semester 2. Just like with acid-base reactions, titrations can be

used with redox reactions. In this experiment you will perform a redox titration to

determine the concentration of Vitamin C and two solutions.