So now we’re going to do an actual titration. There’s two parts to doing a titration. There’s the first part you only do once and that’s getting your titration solution ready. You can use this titration solution for multiple titrations, however, I recommend that every ninety days you get rid of it and put a new titration solution together, and that’s because the KOH, the sodium hydroxide, the potassium hydroxide tends to oxidize with time, air, and UV rays, so you just need to make sure that you’ve got fresh stuff or you’re going to get false readings. The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to take and add a liter of distilled water to a container. So there’s a liter. Then I’m going to measure out, with my very accurate scale, one gram of the catalyst I’m going to use when I make biodiesel.
My catalyst of choice is potassium hydroxide, so I’m going to balance my scale out, and then I’m going to set my scale to one gram. Notice it’ll fall. Very carefully I’m going to measure out a gram of KOH. You’re going to be amazed at how little one gram is. It’s really important to wear safety gloves while you’re doing this because this stuff really can burn. It’s quite potent stuff. Kay and we’ve got a gram. What we’re going to do is take this gram of our catalyst and we’re going to introduce it to our water. Then we’re going to allow this to dissolve. It will take a little bit of time to dissolve here, sodium hydroxide takes forever to dissolve by the way. It’s one of the reasons I like to use potassium hydroxide, is potassium hydroxide will almost dissolve on contact. Um, once this is dissolved we’re going to be putting it in this jug. So I’m going to let this wait for a minute and we’ll stop for a moment and come back when it’s dissolved.
Kay, we know have fully dissolved catalyst in our liquid here, so we’re going to just pour this right into our jar. This jar, we will use this for our titration solution going forward. Very slowly, I’m getting it in there. Kay we’ve finished putting our stuff in there. I’m going to seal this up, and just to make sure it’s good and mixed in I shake it a little bit. The next thing we’re going to do is do an actual titration. You can put this (the container) away, your funnel away and save it for when you need to remake your titration solution because you’re only going to have to do this once. Um, this is probably when you need to be the most cautious though because you are dealing with chemicals. One thing that is very important is you need to make sure that your chemicals always stay dry. If they don’t, they’ll ruin themselves much like hydrogen peroxide; if you leave the lid off it will destroy itself as well. That’s because oxygen from the air will react with it and neutralize it. If your chemicals are clumpy in any way, shape, or form, these are nice and clean, then you may need to get new potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. That’s one very important thing to know.