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    tma's Avatar
    tma Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    Sep 23, 2003, 09:15 PM
    Citric acid in cleaners & titration
    A lot of cleaners nowadays advertise being more effective due to their ingredient of citric acid. If I wanted to find the concentration of citric acid in various cleaner solutions, would titration be a plausible method?

    Also, how would one go about finding the exact pH of the citric acid content in various cleaners? Would I have to isolate the acid prior to testing it's pH?


    Thanks for any available information!
    bobertmurphy's Avatar
    bobertmurphy Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 13, 2004, 06:53 PM
    Citric acid in cleaners & titration
    Titration would be indeed be a plausible method. You would want to make sure that what you were seeing was citric acid, and not some other acid in the mixture, such as phosphoric acid, which is an ingredient in many cleaners. So unless I knew the ingredients list and knew there were no other acids in the cleaner, I would purify the citric acid first. The technique for doing that would depend a lot on the mixture of ingredients in the cleaner.

    I would probably do a titration using a pH meter. Since citric acid is a tri-carboxylic acid, if you neutralized all three acid groups, you would get three measurements of citric acid content for the effort of one titration.

    Citric acid doesn't have a pH all by itself, but only in context of whatever solution it's in. So you couldn't measure the pH of citric acid in a particular cleaner, independent of any other ingredients in the cleaner. You could measure the pH of the cleaner, though. If you isolated the citric acid before testing the pH, it would tell you about the pH of the citric acid solution you have after isolation, but wouldn't tell you anything about the citric acid in the cleaner.

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