Video: Giving the Color of Methyl Orange in a Basic Medium

What is the color of methyl orange in a basic medium? [A] Blue [B] Red [C] Pink/Purple [D] Colorless [E] Yellow

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Video Transcript

What is the color of methyl orange in a basic medium? A) Blue, B) red, C) pink slash purple, D) colorless, or E) yellow?

Methyl orange is an example of a pH indicator, a chemical that changes color depending on the pH. This is one of the structures of methyl orange. You don’t need to worry about the details of this. I just thought it would be interesting. When the pH of the surrounding solution is greater than 4.4, methyl orange is yellow and has this structure. And this is the structure of methyl orange when the pH drops below 3.1. So, we have a yellow form for methyl orange and a red form.

Now, let’s look back at the question. The question asks, what is the color of methyl orange in a basic medium? We think of a basic medium as anything with a pH greater than seven. An example of this would be a solution of sodium hydroxide. A pH greater than seven is definitely greater than a pH of 4.4, so we would expect methyl orange in a basic medium to be yellow.

Methyl orange changes color at about the midpoint of the pH scale that’s dedicated to acids. So, it’s often used in acid titrations. You can remember the colors it turns by remembering that red and yellow mix together to make orange. So, our final answer for what is the color of methyl orange in a basic medium is yellow.

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