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SAMONTE, Gianella Bianca C.

Experiment 8: The Titration of Acetic Acid in Vinegar


December 3, 2015


Vinegar contains a weak acid called acetic acid or C H 3 COOH. Government

regulations require a minimum amount of 4.5% acetic acid in commercial vinegar. In this
experiment, the student must be able to calculate the molarity of acetic acid in vinegar and
HCl. Once obtained, the student may also calculate for the percent mass of acetic acid in both
samples. This is done through the process of titration which involves vinegar, HCl and
phenolphthalein. The data obtained computed for the value of 0.7M in both vinegar and HCl
samples. It may also be said that vinegar has 4% acetic acid while HCl has 3% acetic acid.


To obtain the molarity of acetic acid in vinegar and HCl, titration is used. Titration is a
process performed with the use of a known concentration called the titrant and an unknown
solution called the analyte. For this experiment, NaOH acts as the titrant while vinegar and
HCl acts as the analyte. When the solutions are mixed together, a neutralization reaction
occurs between the sodium hydroxide and acetic acid in vinegar which is presented as:
NaOH (aq) + HC2H3O2 (aq) NaC2H3O2 (aq) + H2O (l)
The following formulas are used to compute for the molarity and %mass:
( Mtitrant )( Vtitrant )
Concentration (M) of C H 3 COOH =
Volume ( analyte )
% C H 3 COOH =

Mbase x Vbase x MW C H 3 COOH

Mass sample


As preparation for the experiment, 3mL of vinegar and HCl samples are placed in an
Erlenmeyer flash. The samples are weighed and 1 to 2 drops of phenolphthalein is added. The
buret is then prepared by pouring 10.0mL of the NaOH solution while the stopcock is closed.
The buret is then rotated until all sides have been rinsed with the solution. Afterwards, the
stopcock is opened and the solution is allowed to run out. The stopcock is sealed again and
the buret is then filled with the NaOH solution. The buret is mounted on the stand and the
Erlenmeyer flask is placed under it. The initial buret reading is recorded and then the base is
slowly added to the flask by carefully controlling the flow from the stopcock. For each drop
of base, the flask is swirled around until the pink color disappears. Once the pink color
persists for more than 30 seconds even after swirling, the stopcock is closed and the final
buret reading is recorded.


Table 1. Results of Titration with Vinegar

Mass of Vinegar
2.61 g

3.12 g

Initial Buret Reading

21.5 mL
Final Buret Reading
25 mL
Table 2. Results of Titration with HCl

16.8 mL
21 mL

2.82 g
21.5 mL
25.4 mL

2.84 g
33 mL
36.9 mL

Mass of HCl
Initial Buret Reading
Final Buret Reading

( Mtitrant )(Vtitrant)
Volume (analyte)

Concentration (M) of C H 3 COOH =

( 0.5 M ) ( 0.0039 L )
0.003 L

0.7 M C H 3 COOH

Concentration (M) of HCl =

% C H 3 COOH =

(Mtitrant )(Vtitrant)
Volume (analyte)

Mbase x Vbase x MW C H 3 COOH

Mass sample

( 0.5 M ) ( 0.00 39 L )
0.003 L

= 0.7 M HCl

( 0.5 M ) ( 0.0039 L ) ( 60.05 g )

2.87 g

100 = 4.08 or 4%

% HCl =

Mbase x Vbase x MW HCl

Mass sample

( 0.5 M ) ( 0.0039 L ) ( 36.46 g )

2.83 g

x 100 = 2.5 or 3%


The experiment aimed to calculate for the molarity of acetic acid in vinegar and
hydrochloric acid or HCl and their respective % (m/m). Based on the data and calculations,
the concentration of acetic acid in both vinegar and hydrochloric acid is 0.7M. Acetic acid
had a percent mass of 4% and HCl had the percent mass of 3%. Comparison of % mass of
acetic acid in vinegar results with two other pairs showed results that ranged from 5.04% to
4.69% which can both be rounded off to 5%. Government regulation requires a minimum of
4.5% which means the results from other pairs met this requirement while the computed
results gained from this experiment was a bit lower than the required; although not by much.
An error in weighing would not affect the molarity since the formula for computing for the
molarity does not call for the mass of the sample used. It does, however, greatly affect
percent mass since the computation calls for the division of values by the mass sample.
Accuracy of percent mass is crucial since this is the value to be evaluated for the requirement
of acetic acid in vinegar.


In conclusion, it can be said that titration serves as an effective method of computing

for the molarity of a given analyte. This method could be used by government agencies that
test for food qualifications and the like to survey if the product meets the given standards and
requirements. If the results obtained from this obtained were truly accurate and precise, it

proves that not all food production companies follow the given requirement as seen in how
%mass is 4% even when the requirement is 4.5%.