An Introductory Course of Quantitative Chemical Analysis eBook

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

Potassium permanganate is acted upon by hydrochloric acid; the action is rapid in hot or concentrated solution (particularly in the presence of iron salts, which appear to act as catalyzers, increasing the velocity of the reaction), but slow in cold, dilute solutions.  However, the greater solubility of iron compounds in hydrochloric acid makes it desirable to use this acid as a solvent, and experiments made with this end in view have shown that in cold, dilute hydrochloric acid solution, to which considerable quantities of manganous sulphate and an excess of phosphoric acid have been added, it is possible to obtain satisfactory results.

It is also possible to replace the hydrochloric acid by evaporating the solutions with an excess of sulphuric acid until the latter fumes.  This procedure is somewhat more time-consuming, but the end-point of the permanganate titration is more permanent.  Both procedures are described below.

Potassium permanganate has an intense coloring power, and since the solution resulting from the oxidation of the iron and the reduction of the permanganate is colorless, the latter becomes its own indicator.  The slightest excess is indicated with great accuracy by the pink color of the solution.


!Approximate Strength 0.1 N!

A study of the reactions given above which represent the oxidation of ferrous compounds by potassium permanganate, shows that there are 2 molecules of KMnO_{4} and 10 molecules of FeSO_{4} on the left-hand side, and 2 molecules of MnSO_{4} and 5 molecules of Fe_{2}(so_{4})_{5} on the right-hand side.  Considering only these compounds, and writing the formulas in such a way as to show the oxides of the elements in each, the equation becomes: 

K_{2}O.Mn_{2}O_{7} + 10(FeO.So_{3}) —­> K_{2}O.So_{3} + 2(MnO.So_{3}) + 5(Fe_{2}O_{3}.3So_{3}).

From this it appears that two molecules of KMnO_{4} (or 316.0 grams) have given up five atoms (or 80 grams) of oxygen to oxidize the ferrous compound.  Since 8 grams of oxygen is the basis of normal oxidizing solutions and 80 grams of oxygen are supplied by 316.0 grams of KMnO_{4}, the normal solution of the permanganate should contain, per liter, 316.0/10 grams, or 31.60 grams (Note 1).

The preparation of an approximately tenth-normal solution of the reagent may be carried out as follows: 

Procedure.—­Dissolve about 3.25 grams of potassium permanganate crystals in approximately 1000 cc. of distilled water in a large beaker, or casserole.  Heat slowly and when the crystals have dissolved, boil the solution for 10-15 minutes.  Cover the solution with a watch-glass; allow it to stand until cool, or preferably over night.  Filter the solution through a layer of asbestos.  Transfer the filtrate to a liter bottle and mix thoroughly (Note 2).

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An Introductory Course of Quantitative Chemical Analysis from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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