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Determination of Iron in Water

Determination of Iron in Water


This 4-wavelength Colorimeter measures the amount of light transmitted through a sample at a user-selectable wavelength in order to determine the concentration of a solution.  Features such as automatic sensor identification and one-step calibration make this sensor easy to use.  The colorimeter can be used for colored solutions and provides an alternative to the more expensive UV-Vis instrument.  Unlike the UV-Vis instrument, the colorimeter measures within the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum.    

In this laboratory experiment, your students will use the Vernier colorimeter to analyze a series of iron standards and drinking water samples.  A "quality control' sample will be provided to test your students' laboratory techniques.  Finally, they will compare their values to the EPA regulations on drinking water.   


    This U-PIK will include enough materials for six student groups.  Suggested group size is 3-4 students.  The U-PIK will include the following:


    • 6 colorimeters 
    • 6 LabQuest 2 interfaces
    • 1 bottle of 1,10-phenanthroline solution
    • 1 bottle of hydroxylamine hydrochloride
    • 1 bottle of sodium acetate buffer
    • 3 50-mL burettes
    • 3 ring stands
    • 3 burette clamps
    • 7 vials of iron standard
    • 6 sets of plastic cuvettes
    • 60 50-mL conical vials
    • 6 Ziploc bags of Pasteur pipettes (Qty 10/bag)
    • 6 boxes of Kimwipes
    • 14 100-mL volumetric flasks
    • 7 2-mL volumetric pipettes
    • 7 4-mL volumetric pipettes
    • 7 6-mL volumetric pipettes
    • 7 8 -mL volumetric pipettes
    • 7 10-mL volumetric pipettes
    • 7 pipette bulbs
    • 7 50-mL graduated cylinders


    You will be required to provide your own water (distilled or deionized) needed for the experiment.  Tap water cannot be used as it could have iron present!  


    The colorimeter can be easily used to support the concept of the visible spectrum.  All solutions will be colored and analyzed in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Students will have to use the dilution equation in order to make their standards and samples.    


    Due to the mathematical concepts presented (dilution, slope and linear regression line), the laboratory should be introduced in a high school chemistry or environmental science classroom.


    Time:  Two laboratory periods (one to make the standards and one to make the samples).  


    Student Level:  

    ADVANCED (Grades 10-12)

  • Colorimeter User Manual

  • Lab Experiment: Preview Document

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