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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 188 pages of information about An Introductory Course of Quantitative Chemical Analysis.

From the corrected volumes of the bichromate solution required to oxidize the iron actually know to be present in the wire, calculate the relation of the standard solution to the normal.

Repeat the standardization until the results are concordant within at least two parts in one thousand.

[Note 1:  The hydrochloric acid is added to the ferrous solution to insure the presence of at least sufficient free acid for the titration, as required by the equation on page 48.

The solution of the wire in hot acid and the short boiling insure the removal of compounds of hydrogen and carbon which are formed from the small amount of carbon in the iron.  These might be acted upon by the bichromate if not expelled.]

[Note 2:  It is plain that all the iron must be reduced to the ferrous condition before the titration begins, as some oxidation may have occurred from the oxygen of the air during solution.  It is also evident that any excess of the agent used to reduce the iron must be removed; otherwise it will react with the bichromate added later.

The reagents available for the reduction of iron are stannous chloride, sulphurous acid, sulphureted hydrogen, and zinc; of these stannous chloride acts most readily, the completion of the reaction is most easily noted, and the excess of the reagent is most readily removed.  The latter object is accomplished by oxidation to stannic chloride by means of mercuric chloride added in excess, as the mercuric salts have no effect upon ferrous iron or the bichromate.  The reactions involved are: 

2FeCl_{3} + SnCl_{2} —­> 2FeCl_{2} + SnCl_{4} SnCl_{2} + 2HgCl_{2} —­> SnCl_{4} + 2HgCl

The mercurous chloride is precipitated.

It is essential that the solution should be cold and that the stannous chloride should not be present in great excess, otherwise a secondary reaction takes place, resulting in the reduction of the mercurous chloride to metallic mercury: 

SnCl_{2} + 2HgCl —­> SnCl_{4} + 2Hg.

The occurrence of this secondary reaction is indicated by the darkening of the precipitate; and, since potassium bichromate oxidizes this mercury slowly, solutions in which it has been precipitated are worthless as iron determinations.]

[Note 3:  The solution should be allowed to stand about three minutes after the addition of mercuric chloride to permit the complete deposition of mercurous chloride.  It should then be titrated without delay to avoid possible reoxidation of the iron by the oxygen of the air.]


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