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Antacid Effectiveness Lab

CHEM 002: G1



Logan Hill

Lab Partner: Jason Henderson

TA: Ayse Beyaz


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This purpose of this lab is to test and compare the ability of a few common commercial

antacids to neutralize hydrochloric acid (stomach acid). The benefits of knowing this

information are multifold. Manufacturers interests are obvious: to sell a product, one must

always work to increase its effectiveness to the consumer. Regulating agencies like the FDA

look into the legitimacy and safety of commercially sold products like antacids. Finally, any

good consumer would like to be informed of the “bang for the buck” of the product they are


Using basic knowledge of chemical equations and stoichiometry, one can determine the

strength of a strong base (in this case, one of the antacids) by calculating the amount of strong

acid that the base neutralizes. In this lab, both forward (direct) and back (indirect) titration

methods are used to ascertain the strength of the antacid. Forward titration titrates the acid

directly into an aqueous solution of the antacid, using an indicator to signify the end point. Back

titration adds the antacid to an excess of acid then titrates a strong base into the acidic solution

until it is neutralized. The amount of acid neutralized by the antacid can then be determined by

subtracting the amount neutralized by the titrated base from the total amount of acid neutralized.

Safety is a substantial issue in this lab. Strong acids (hydrochloric acid) and bases

(sodium hydroxide) are very toxic if ingested and can cause severe burns upon contact with skin.

Proper attire (approved lab goggles, appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes) should be worn at

all times. Products of the experimental reactions could be harmful to the environment, and thus

should be disposed of accordingly.

In addition to the dose effectiveness of each antacid in the study, the cost effectiveness

was also determined. This data is very important to the consumer sector. If an equivalent result
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can be safely achieved between a higher dosage of one antacid at an overall lower price than

another more powerful and expensive antacid, it is obviously more advantageous to the

consumer to purchase the cheaper product. Considering this, the cost effectiveness of the antacid

is more important than the per dose effectiveness, at least as far as the consumer is concerned.
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Experimental Methods

Three different antacids were chosen for this experiment: Maalox, Rolaids, and Tums.

The neutralization capabilities of all three were evaluated using back titration. The Tums was

then analyzed again, this time using forward titration. The recommended dosage (1 tablet) for

each antacid was obtained and added to approximately 25 ml of hydrochloric acid in separate

Erlenmeyer flasks (the acid was added prior using a buret and the exact amount in each flask was

measured to .01 ml). The antacids were then dissolved in the acid with a combination of stirring

and heating. Upon complete reaction of the antacids, three drops of phenolphthalein were then

added to each flask. Each solution was individually titrated with sodium hydroxide until the first

sign of a slightly pink color change. The volume of sodium hydroxide added was recorded as the

end point of titration.

For the forward titration of the Tums, a Tums tablet was first added to approximately 50

ml of water in an Erlenmeyer flask, then dissolved with the help of heat and stirring. Fifteen to

twenty drops of bromcresol green indicator were added to the solution. The solution was then

titrated with hydrochloric acid until the indicator produced a distinctive green color. Upon

reaching the end point, the volume of hydrochloric acid titrated was recorded.
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Results and Discussion

Chemical Equations:
HCl (l) + NaOH (l) → NaCl (aq) + H2O (l) (1)

2HCl (l) + CaCO3 (s) → CaCl2 (aq) + H2O (l) + CO2 (g) (2)

2HCl (l) + Mg(OH)2 (s) → MgCl2 (aq) H2O (l) (3)

N acid added = V acid added x M acid (4)

N base added = V base added x M base (5)

N acid used = n acid added – n acid leftover (6)

mg of acid used = mg of HCl neutralized = MW HCl x n acid used (7)

Antacid Effectiveness = mg of HCl neutralized / recommended dose of antacid (8)

Cost Effectiveness = antacid effectiveness / (cost in dollars / recommended dose) (9)

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Figure 1. Actual vs. Theoretical Weight of HCl Neutralized

600 546.8 566.8

HCl Weight (mg) 500 437.4 415.5
400 364.5 364.5

300 276.7











Theoretical Actual

Figure 2. Percent Yield

120% 104%
Pe rce ntage Yie ld

Maalox Rolaids Tums Tums
(back) (forward)
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Figure 3. Actual Cost Effectiveness per Dollar

Cost Effectiveness (mg per
40 34.3

15 11.7
Maalox Rolaids Tums Tums
(back) (forward)

Figure 4. Actual Neutralization of HCl (Forward

vs. Back Titration)

Weight HCl Neutralized (mg)



Forward Back
Titration Method
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Data Tables:

Table 1. Back Titration Data

Initial Volume Final Volume Total Volume Moles HCl

HCl (ml) HCl (ml) HCl (ml) (mmol)
Maalox 5.92 30.50 24.58 30.90
Rolaids 9.42 34.92 25.50 32.05
Tums 6.59 31.54 24.95 31.36
Initial Volume Final Volume Total Volume Moles NaOH HCl Used
NaOH (ml) NaOH (ml) NaOH (ml) (mmol) (mmol)
Maalox 4.66 15.31 10.65 20.11 10.79
Rolaids 15.69 24.43 8.74 16.50 15.55
Tums 24.51 37.10 12.59 23.77 7.59

Table 2. Forward Titration Data

Initial Volume Final Volume Total Volume Moles HCl

HCl (ml) HCl (ml) HCl (ml) (mmol)
Tums 13.25 22.13 9.05 11.4

Table 3. Antacid Active Ingredients

Active Ingredient Mass of Antacid (mg) Amount of Antacid

Maalox Calcium Carbonate 600 6
Rolaids Calcium Carbonate 550 5.5
Magnesium Hydroxide 110 1.9
Tums Calcium Carbonate 500 5

Table 4. Results

Theoretical Actual Theoretical Actual HCl Percent Antacid Cost

HCl (mg) HCl (mg) HCl(mmol) (mmol) Yield (%) Effectiveness Effectiveness
Maalox 437.4 393.3 12 10.79 90% .656 mg/dose 11.7 mg/$
Rolaids 546.8 566.8 15 15.55 104% .859 mg/dose 37.5 mg/$
Tums* 364.5 276.7 10 7.59 76% .553 mg/dose 22.9 mg/$
Tums** 364.5 415.5 10 11.4 114 % .831 mg/dose 34.3 mg/$
*Back Titration **Forward Titration
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It can be seen from Figure 1 above that there were some discrepancies between the

calculated theoretical weight and the actual experimental weight of acid neutralized. The error

exhibited is not overly large, and is not consistent over the entire experiment. These signs point

to random error on the part of the experimenters. Random error could consist of continuing past

the end point of titration, misreading the buret, or error in calculation. The percent yield

obviously exhibits these same symptoms, as seen in Figure 2. Because the error seems to be

more random than systematic, a comparison between the effectiveness of the antacids may be

inaccurate as based on this experiment.

In addition to these, a large difference can be seen between the yields from the forward

and back titrations. This is shown in Figure 4. It is interesting to point out that the larger error

seems to be exhibited in the back titration, though the forward titration is often more difficult to

perform accurately.

Overall, the experiment went well in terms of procedure. The students were prepared and

knowledgeable as to what was required and how they were to go about the lab. Although some

error was exhibited, in only one case was it substantially large. This leads the students to believe

their results to be acceptable, with most of the theoretical yields within of 15% of the actual

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Works Consulted

“Antacid Analysis.” Chem 2. Laboratory Packet. Rolla, MO: UMR Chemistry Department,

2006. 6.1-6.6.

Chem II Lab Manual University of Missouri-Rolla. Brooks/Cole, 2006.

Bone, Terry. T-Bone’s Homepage. University of Missouri-Rolla. 12 October 2006