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"Is titration the best method to analyse the content of copper"


I have dilute sulphuric acid in which copper ore is dissolved. To measure the concentration of copper in the solution I need to titrate it with magnesium oxide. Is this correct or is there a better way to analyse the sample?

Jivantika Patel
Student (placement) - Bristol, UK


If I wanted an accurate answer I would use Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry with matrix matched standards to counteract any interference effects that might be encountered.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK


Sophisticated instruments are usually the "better" way to go if you have them, but you don't always have them. In between titration and AA there may be a middle answer like colorimeter testing. The answer may depend on what level of instrumentation is available to you.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Dear Patel,

If you want to analyse the copper content of copper ore, I would not recommend AAS. AAS is a very good analytical tool. However, when analyzing higher concentration of metal ions, as in the case of copper ore, one has to be careful in choosing the working range and wavelength. Also dilution of the solution should also be done with caution since too much of dilution may results in positive error in the analysis.

You can adopt titrimetric method, which is also a recommended method in the chemical analysis of ores.

In fact, titrimetric methods are most suited for the determination of higher concentrations of metal ions.

T.S.N. Sankara Narayanan
T.S.N. Sankara Narayanan
- Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
(ed.note Nov. 2017: The good doctor has a fascinating blog at https://advancementinscience.wordpress.com)

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