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Question Video: Choosing Which Solution, an Acid or an Unknown Base, to Go into the Erlenmeyer Flask in an Acid–Base Titration Chemistry

A student wants to use titration to determine how much acid is needed to neutralize a known volume of base. They set up the experiment. At the start of the experiment, which solution should go into the Erlenmeyer flask and which should be used to fill the buret?

01:20

Video Transcript

A student wants to use titration to determine how much acid is needed to neutralize a known volume of base. They set up the experiment as shown. At the start of the experiment, which solution should go into the Erlenmeyer flask and which should be used to fill the buret?

This question is asking about an acid–base titration. This type of experiment is used to determine an unknown concentration. The solution which fills the buret is called the titrant. You can remember that the t at the end of titrant could stand for top, meaning it goes in the top. The titrant has a known concentration, and it’s sometimes referred to as the standard solution. Our titrand goes into the Erlenmeyer flask, sometimes called a conical flask. This is the solution with an unknown concentration, sometimes called the analyte.

The question tells us that we have a known volume of base. Our titrand with the unknown concentration must have a known exact volume. So, in this case, the base is our titrand and should go into the Erlenmeyer flask. This means that the acid should go into the buret.

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