Acid-Base Titrations

Summary Acid-Base Titrations

However, if a strong base is used to titrate a weak acid, the pH at the equivalence point will not be 7. There is a lag in reaching the equivalence point, as some of the weak acid is converted to its conjugate base. You should recognize the pair of a weak acid and its conjugate base as a buffer. In , we see the resultant lag that precedes the equivalence point, called the buffering region. In the buffering region, it takes a large amount of NaOH to produce a small change in the pH of the receiving solution.

Figure %: Titration curve of a strong base titrating a weak acid

Because the conjugate base is basic, the pH will be greater than 7 at the equivalence point. You will need to calculate the pH using the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, and inputting the pKb and concentration of the conjugate base of the weak acid.

The titration of a base with an acid produces a flipped-over version of the titration curve of an acid with a base. pH is decreased upon addition of the acid.

Note that the pH of a solution at the equivalence point has nothing to do with the volume of titrant necessary to reach the equivalence point; it is a property inherent to the composition of the solution. The pH at the equivalence point is calculated in the same manner used to calculate the pH of weak base solutions in Calculating pH's.

When polyprotic acids are titrated with strong bases, there are multiple equivalence points. The titration curve of a polyprotic acid shows an equivalence point for the each protonation:

Figure %: Titration curve of a strong base titrating a polyprotic acid

The titration curve shown above is for a diprotic acid such as H2SO4 and is not unlike two stacked . For a diprotic acid, there are two buffering regions and two equivalence points. This proves the earlier assertion that polyprotic acids lose their protons in a stepwise manner.