Why Buffer is used in Complexometric Titration

Buffering a solution in a chemical reaction is a common practice that ensures a stable pH level throughout the experiment. Buffer is highly essential in complexometric titration because it creates a favorable environment for metal ions and ligands to interact and form stable complexes, leading to reliable and accurate analytical results.

What is Complexometric Titration?

Complexometric titration, a technique involving the complexing action of a metal ion with an appropriate ligand, provides a fundamental approach to determine the concentration of a metal ion [M] in a solution. The titration involves the addition of a ligand [L] in a known concentration to the metal ion solution until the complex [ML] entirely binds the metal ions with a specific ratio (i.e., 1:1, 1:2, etc.). The titration process reaches its endpoint when all the metal ions are bound, forming a stable complex. Indicators are often used in complexometric titrations to signify the equivalence point or endpoint and assist in observing the reaction's completion.

Why do we use Buffer in Complexometric Titration?

Buffering plays a vital role in complexometric titration due to its several advantages:

  1. pH Control: Complexometric titration relies on the formation of stable complexes between metal ions and ligands. The pH of the solution directly influences the stability and solubility of these complexes, and even slight variations can affect the titration results. Buffer maintains the desired pH, mitigating the influence of pH changes throughout the titration process.

  2. Complexion Rate Enhancement: Buffer accelerates the rate of complexation, enabling the reaction to reach equilibrium rapidly. Stable pH promotes the chemical bonding between metal ions and ligands, leading to the formation of complexes in a swift manner.

  3. Suppression of Interferences: Buffers minimize the interference of other ions in the solution. Some ions, especially those exhibiting similar chemical properties to the targeted metal ion, may interfere with the complexation process and yield inaccurate results. The buffer can suppress these interferences by maintaining a specific pH that inhibits their activity.

Types of Buffers Used in Complexometric Titration:

Selecting the appropriate buffer for complexometric titration is crucial for successful analysis. Considerations include the pH requirements of the metal-ligand system, complexation kinetics, and potential interferences. Common buffer systems employed are:

  1. Ammonium Chloride-Ammonium Hydroxide Buffer: Suitable for metal ions that form ammine complexes, such as copper(II), nickel(II), and zinc(II).

  2. Sodium Acetate-Acetic Acid Buffer: Applicable for metal ions that form acetate complexes, including calcium(II) and magnesium(II).

  3. Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (Tris)-Hydrochloric Acid Buffer: Often used for metal ions requiring a higher pH, such as iron(III) and aluminum(III).

Indicators in Complexometric Titration:

Indicators play a vital role in complexometric titrations by providing a visual or instrumental signal to indicate the endpoint of the reaction. They undergo a color change or exhibit a distinct physical property as the concentration of the metal-ligand complex increases, signaling the completion of the titration process. Some widely used indicators are:

  1. Eriochrome Black T: A metal-indicator complex (MIC) that forms blue complexes with various metal ions, such as calcium(II) and magnesium(II). The endpoint is indicated by a color change from blue to pink.

  2. Calmagite: Another MIC that forms colored complexes with metal ions. It is specifically used for complexometric titration of calcium(II) and magnesium(II). The color change observed is from pink to blue.

  3. Xylenol Orange: An acid-base indicator that changes color depending on the pH of the solution. It is commonly employed in titrations where the metal-ligand complexation changes the solution's pH.


Buffer is an indispensable component of complexometric titration, ensuring accurate and reliable determinations. It stabilizes the pH of the solution, enhances the complexation rate, and suppresses the interference of other ions. Carefully selecting the appropriate buffer and indicator for the specific metal-ligand system is crucial for obtaining precise results.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What is the significance of maintaining a stable pH in complexometric titration?
    &nbsp       A: Stable pH is essential for ensuring the stability and solubility of metal-ligand complexes. pH variations can influence the formation and dissociation of complexes, leading to inaccurate results.

  2. Q: How does a buffer control pH in complexometric titration?
    &nbsp       A: Buffer resists pH changes by maintaining a specific H+ ion concentration. It neutralizes added H+ or OH- ions, preventing significant pH deviations.

  3. Q: What types of buffers are commonly employed in complexometric titrations?
    &nbsp       A: Common buffers include ammonium chloride-ammonium hydroxide buffer, sodium acetate-acetic acid buffer, and Tris-hydrochloric acid buffer. The selection depends on the pH requirements of the metal-ligand system and the desired reaction conditions.

  4. Q: What role do indicators play in complexometric titration?
    &nbsp       A: Indicators signal the endpoint of complexometric titration through visual or instrumental cues. They undergo color changes or exhibit physical property changes as the metal-ligand complex forms, indicating the completion of the reaction.

  5. Q: Why is it essential to select the appropriate buffer and indicator for complexometric titration?
    &nbsp       A: Selecting the correct buffer and indicator is crucial for ensuring accurate and reliable results in complexometric titration. The buffer should maintain the desired pH for the stability of the metal-ligand complex, while the indicator should provide a clear and distinct endpoint signal for easy observation.



Leave a Reply

Ваша e-mail адреса не оприлюднюватиметься. Обов’язкові поля позначені *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box