The standardization processes employed when iron or its compounds are selected as standards differ from those applicable in connection with oxalate standards. The procedure which immediately follows is that in use with iron standards.
As in the case of the bichromate process, it is necessary to reduce the iron completely to the ferrous condition before titration. The reducing agents available are zinc, sulphurous acid, or sulphureted hydrogen. Stannous chloride may also be used when the titration is made in the presence of hydrochloric acid. Since the excess of both the gaseous reducing agents can only be expelled by boiling, with consequent uncertainty regarding both the removal of the excess and the reoxidation of the iron, zinc or stannous chlorides are the most satisfactory agents. For prompt and complete reduction it is essential that the iron solution should be brought into ultimate contact with the zinc. This is brought about by the use of a modified Jones reductor, as shown in Figure 1. This reductor is a standard apparatus and is used in other quantitative processes.
[Illustration: Fig. 1]
The tube A has an inside diameter of 18 mm. and is 300 mm. long; the small tube has an inside diameter of 6 mm. and extends 100 mm. below the stopcock. At the base of the tube A are placed some pieces of broken glass or porcelain, covered by a plug of glass wool about 8 mm. thick, and upon this is placed a thin layer of asbestos, such as is used for Gooch filters, 1 mm. thick. The tube is then filled with the amalgamated zinc (Note 1) to within 50 mm. of the top, and on the zinc is placed a plug of glass wool. If the top of the tube is not already shaped like the mouth of a thistle-tube (B), a 60 mm. funnel is fitted into the tube with a rubber stopper and the reductor is connected with a suction bottle, F. The bottle D is a safety bottle to prevent contamination of the solution by water from the pump. After preparation for use, or when left standing, the tube A should be filled with water, to prevent clogging of the zinc.
[Note 1: The use of fine zinc in the reductor is not necessary and tends to clog the tube. Particles which will pass a 10-mesh sieve, but are retained by one of 20 meshes to the inch, are most satisfactory. The zinc can be amalgamated by stirring or shaking it in a mixture of 25 cc. of normal mercuric chloride solution, 25 cc. of hydrochloric acid (sp. gr. 1.12) and 250 cc. of water for two minutes. The solution should then be poured off and the zinc thoroughly washed. It is then ready for bottling and preservation under water. A small quantity of glass wool is placed in the neck of the funnel to hold back foreign material when the reductor is in use.]