What is titration?

Titration is a chemical method where you use a substance with a known concentration to determine the unknown concentration of another substance.

Titration is a volumetric procedure. Therefore, in order to perform a titration to determine the concentration of an unknown (analyte, sample) with a substance of a known concentration (titrant) there are a few things that need to happen.

  1. Rapidity
    • For a titration to be successful, the reaction between the analyte and the titrant has to occur quickly, or in a timely manner. 
  2. Completion
    • The titrant and analyte have to react completely. The chemical reaction cannot keep going and going. If that happens, the titration never ends and you cannot quantify the concentration of your sample.
  3. Specific Stoichiometry
    • The reaction between the analyte and your sample has to be in a known ratio (i.e. 2:1, 3:2 etc.) and specific. Specificity means that there are no interferences or side reactions occurring. This stoichiometry extends to the chemical equation used to calculate your sample concentration.
  4. Convenient Endpoint 
    • There has to be a clear end to the titration. This needs to be able to be determined either manually with a color indicator or automatically with an indicator electrode.