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Ch 312 - Quantitative Analysis, Winter 2014

quant_student.jpg (10159 bytes) A classic course in modern Chemical Analysis including statistics, equilibrium, acid-base theory, titrations, electrodes & potentiometry, UV-Vis spectrophotometry, Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, and Gas Chromatography.

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Learning Outcomes and Goals:

  • master the use of chemical and instrumental methods of analysis, and be able to critically think and choose the correct analysis procedure for a given sample

  • improve your laboratory techniques so that you can determine the percent purity of a sample down to very low detection limits

  • learn how to use basic statitics and constructing a calibration Curve

  • how to perform routine titrations such as acid-base, precipitation, EDTA, and redox titrations

  • understand equilibrium theory for acids and bases, buffers, solubility calculations, electrochemistry, etc as it applies to analyzing samples

  • titration curves and how they are used in selecting a suitable indicator, as well as the feasibility of a given methodology

  • the effect of ionic strength on solubility of salts, Activity Coefficients, Systematic Treatment of Equilibrium

  • Redox Chemistry and Electricity, Galvanic Cells, Standard Potentials, The Nernst Equation, E° and the Equilibrium Constant, Theory of Redox Titrations, Redox Indicators

  • Reference Electrodes, Ion-Selective Electrodes

  • Properties of Light, Absorption of Light, Using Beer's Law

  • UV-Vis Spectroscopy, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, and Gas and Liquid Chromatography
Dr. Pete Poston
office: NS 110
phone: 503-838-8218
office hours: MWF 2 and 4, make an appointment, or just drop by.
web page: http://www.wou.edu/poston
email questions: postonp@wou.edu
Ch 223
"Exploring Chemical Analysis" by Harris, 5th ed.
Cell Phones and Computers

I have mixed feelings about smart devices - they can be a valuable educational resource, but texting, etc is discouraged. What's the point to coming to class if you aren't paying attention?

However, from time to time I will recommend interesting, educational, and fun app's and will use them in lectures and during the recitation. Feel free to download them at that time.

Cell phones need to be either turned off or placed in vibrate mode during lecture (including mine). If I see you using one of these devices during testing, I will consider it cheating and give you a zero.

A scientific calculator is mandatory, and you must your own calculator. You are not allowed to borrow one from another student while testing, and you may not use your cell phone as a calculator
Homework will be assigned and posted, but not graded. Usually a homework problem or a problem covered in lecture makes it on an exam!

I will furnish the lab manual; also, you will need to purchase a bound lab notebook from the bookstore. I will be checking and grading your notebooks at unannounced times! To save yourself time, outline the procedure from the manual into your notebook before coming to lab. BE PREPARED BEFORE ENTERING THE LAB!

The results of titration labs will be turned in on a 3 X 5 filecard with the same format as shown on the attached page. Your results must be accurate to within 5 parts-per-thousand (0.5%)! For example, if the percent purity of an unknown is 46.36% and your average value is 46.71%, then you are OK.

Every lab is due at the beginning of the following week's lab. Late labs lose 25% per day.

If you miss two labs, you fail the course! Also, if you don't turn in a lab notebook you fail the course.

Exam and Lab Policies

There are no make-up exams except for University sanctioned events, in which case please see me a week in advance for an alternative testing time.

In the event of an unexpected emergency, then -

Midterms: Family-related emergencies or deaths must be communicated through the Office of Student Affairs (838-8221) and broadcast to all your professors. Illnesses must be verifiable. Under these conditions I will replace the missing hour exam score by taking 30% of the percentage you receive on the final exam (since it is a 200 pt exam) and 40% of the other midterm score. This option can obviously only be used once.

Final exam: University policy states that the final exam time will not be moved. Please do not ask to take the final early because you want to leave for vacation early! There are humanitarian exceptions - see me if there's a problem. Again, if you miss the final and follow the same procedure listed above under midterms, then I will give you an incomplete and you can take the final in a future class section to make it up (see Incompletes section below)

Lab: there are no make-up labs, so if you miss one, follow the procedures above. I will replace your missing lab with the average of your others

2 midterms (Tue, Jan 28 and Tue, Feb 25) 200 points (34 %)
Final - weighted towards final chapters (R Mar 20, 8-10 AM) 200 points (34 %)
Lab: first 6 labs at 20 pts; last 3 labs at 10 pts, buffer exercise 10 pts 160 points (27 %)
Lab notebook 25 points (4 %)
Total 585 points

Incompletes are given under special circumstances such as medical reasons, family emergencies, etc. In order to receive an incomplete, the University requires you to sign a contract with me outlining the steps you must take to finish the course. Usually this means there will be a time deadline for completion of the course before your grade reverts to an "F".

Students with Disabilities

It is your right to request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For questions, call the Office for Disability Services at (503) 838-8250 V/TTY, or email them at ods@wou.edu.

The Code of Student Responsibility defines cheating as "intentional use, or attempted use of artifice, deception, fraud, and/or misrepresentation of one's academic work". For this class, which involves taking exams, quizzes, and perform labs, cheating is usually but not limited to talking or writing to other students, using crib sheets (prepared notes), or looking at another student's paper. The penalty for cheating will be a zero grade for the test or quiz or assignment in question.

Students have the right to appeal this action as described in the Code of Student Responsibility


Since this is a new edition of the book, check back often for updates to reading and problems.

*AY stands for "Ask Yourself" problems found in the text.

The first Tuesday of every week Chapter Reading/
Homework Problems
(from 3rd ed of the text)
Lecture Topics Lab
Jan 7

Ch 1: p. 13-30
Ch 3: p. 55-68
Ch 4: p. 77-80; 83-84; 89-93
Ch 6: p. 123-127
Ch 7: p. 145-159

Problem Set 1:

Ch 1: 3, 16, 24, 27, 28
Ch 2: 7
Ch 3: 1, 4(a-e), 13(c), AY 3-C (p.62)
Ch 4: 2, 5, 6, 14, AY 4-F (p.93)
Ch 6 (PART 1): 1, 4, 9, AY 6-A(c) (p.125)
Ch 7: 4, 7, AY 7-B (p.154)

Ch 1 - Chemical Measurements
Ch 3 - Math Toolkit
Ch 4 - Statistics
Ch 6 - Good Titrations
Ch 7 - Gravimetric & Combustion Analysis


Mini-lecture Ch 0 "The Analytical Process", and Ch 2 "Tools of the Trade"

Ch 0: p. 1-10
Ch 2: p. 35-50

LAB #1 -Statistics Using Microsoft Excel

Jan 14

Ch 6: p. 131-134
Ch 8: p. 167-185
Ch 9: p. 189-200

Problem Set 2:
Ch 6 (PART 2): 21, 22
Ch 8: 1, 4, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19, 30
Ch 9: 1, 6, 10(a-c), 20

Ch 8 - Introducing Acids & Bases
Ch 9 - Buffers
Ch 6 - Good Titrations (Sec 6-4 on Ksp)

LAB #2 - Neutralization Titration of KHP

Jan 21

Ch 9: p. 200-203
Ch 10: 207-222
Ch 12: 257-271

Problem Set 3:
Ch 12: 9, 10(a), 15, 16, 22, 27
Ch 10: 2, 6, 8, 15, 20, 25

Ch 12 - A Deeper Look at Chemical Equilibrium
Ch 10 - Acid-Base Titrations

LAB #3 - Potentiometric Titration of Soda Ash
(illustration of equilibrium & titration curves)

spreadsheet analysis of titration data

Jan 28*

Ch 11: p. 233-251

Problem Set 4:
Ch 11: 1, 3, 4, 9, 15, 21(b), 25, 26

Ch 11 - Polyprotic Acids & Bases

EXAM #1 - Thur, Jan 31

LAB #4 - Precipitation Titration
Feb 4

Ch 13: p. 265-281
Ch 6: p. 134-139

Problem Set 5:
Ch 13: 9, 19, 20acde
Ch 6 (PART 3): AY 6-E (p.136), AY 6-F (p. 139)

Ch 13 - EDTA Titrations
Ch 6 - Good Titrations (Precipitation Titrations)

LAB #5 - EDTA Titrations
Feb 11

Ch 14: p. 301-318
Ch 16: p. 351-358

Problem Set 6:
Ch 6 (PART 3): 2, 3
Ch 14 (PART 1): 4(a), 9, 13(a)(b), 16
Ch 16: 5 and 6 (eq. pt. only)

Ch 14 - Electrode Potentials (Electrochemistry Review - Sec. 14.1-14.5)
Ch 16 - Redox Titrations (Sec. 16-1-16-2)

LAB #6 - Determination of Iron in Iron Ore

Feb 18

Ch 14: p. 319-321
Ch 10: p. 216-221
Ch 15: p. 333-338

Problem Set 7:
Ch 14: (PART 2): 24
Ch 15: AY 15-D (p. 339)

Ch 14 - Electrode Potentials (Reference Electrodes - Sec. 14-6)
Ch 10 - Acid-Base Titrations - Finding the End Point Potentiometrically (Sec. 10-4)
Ch 15 - Electrode Measurements

Buffer exercise
Feb 25

Ch 18:
p. 387-394, 397-403
Ch 19: p. 409-411

problems (SET 8):
Ch 18: 7, 9, 16, 18, 24
Ch 19: 1, 2, 6

EXAM #2 - Tue, Feb 25

Ch 18 - Let There be Light
Ch 19 - Spectrophotometry: Instruments & Applications

LAB #7 - Spectrophotometric Analysis of a Mixture: Caffeine and Benzoic Acid in a Soft Drink

Mar 4

Ch 20:
p. 435-437, 443-446

problems (SET 9):
Ch 20: AY 20-E (a-c) (p. 448)
- answer in back of book

Ch 20 - Atomic Spectroscopy

LAB #8 - The Determination of Lead in Brass by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS)
Mar 11

Ch 21:
p. 455-464
Ch 22: p. 479-486

problems (SET 10):
Ch 21: 2, 8, 12, 15
Ch 22: 1, 2(a), 4(a)

Ch 21 - Principles of Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry
Ch 22 - Gas & Liquid Chromatography

LAB #9 - Quantitative Gas Chromatography (GC) of Alkanes

*Friday, Jan 31st is the last day for dropping a course(s) or withdrawing from school without being responsible for a grade(s)


I grade notebooks based upon the following criteria:

  1. pages numbered
  2. notebook bound
  3. table of contents
  4. presence of any loose papers
  5. written in pen, not pencil
  6. errors crossed out, not blacked out
  7. overall organization
  8. usage of significant figures
  9. neatness and legibility
  10. record of each step in an analysis written down

These guidelines are meant to provide legal protection for any scientific discoveries made (patent rights), to locate procedural errors, or to protect a company in the event a customer has any complaints. TAKE THE LAB NOTEBOOK VERY SERIOUSLY!

Turn in titration lab results on a 3 X 5 file card with this format:

Name ____________________     Date _______________________
Unknown # _______________      Lab _______________________
Molarity of titrant:
          wt sample                    mL titrant                    % purity                
trial 1
trial 2    <-----------     (use 4 significant digits)   ---------------->
trial 3

true mean = xx.xx % ts/sqrt(N)

relative standard deviation =


  1. Make sure that there is no air bubble in the buret tip. If there is a bubble, remove it by dispensing a few milliliters of titrant.
  2. You can always get 4 significant digits out of a buret (unless the volume is less than 10.00 mL).
  3. Always read the bottom of the meniscus. Hold a card with a black spot on it behind the meniscus in order to read it clearly. Hold your eye level with the meniscus in order to avoid parallax errors.
  4. NEVER attempt to fill the buret to exactly 0.00 mL, you cannot do it! Instead, fill it close to 0.00 mL and estimate the volume.
  5. 1 drop = 0.050 mL. Use this if you reach the endpoint and you have a drop stuck on the tip of your buret.
  6. You can add less than a drop of titrant if you let it stick to the tip, and then rinse it off with a bottle of distilled water.
  7. Obtain a heat-stir plate for your titration if available. Use the stirring option while titrating.
  8. Sometimes analyte splatters onto the side of the flask during the titration. Periodically rinse it off with distilled water.

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