In a titrimetric method of analysis, the volume of titrant that reacts stoichiometrically with a titrand provides quantitative information about the amount of analyte in a sample. The volume of titrant that corresponds to this stoichiometric reaction is called the equivalence point. Experimentally we determine the titration’s end point using an indicator that changes color near the equivalence point. Alternatively, we can locate the end point by monitoring a property of the titrand’s solution—absorbance, potential, and temperature are typical examples—that changes as the titration progresses. In either case, an accurate result requires that the end point closely match the equivalence point. Knowing the shape of a titration curve is critical to evaluating the feasibility of a titrimetric method.
Many titrations are direct, in which the analyte participates in the titration as the titrand or the titrant. Other titration strategies are possible when a direct reaction between the analyte and titrant is not feasible. In a back titration a reagent is added in excess to a solution that contains the analyte. When the reaction between the reagent and the analyte is complete, the amount of excess reagent is determined by a titration. In a displacement titration the analyte displaces a reagent, usually from a complex, and the amount of displaced reagent is determined by an appropriate titration.
Titrimetric methods have been developed using acid–base, complexation, oxidation–reduction, and precipitation reactions. Acid–base titrations use a strong acid or a strong base as a titrant. The most common titrant for a complexation titration is EDTA. Because of their stability against air oxidation, most redox titrations use an oxidizing agent as a titrant. Titrations with reducing agents also are possible. Precipitation titrations often involve Ag+ as either the analyte or titrant.
auxiliary oxidizing agent
symmetric equivalence point
asymmetric equivalence point
auxiliary reducing agent
auxiliary complexing agent
conditional formation constant