Why Do We Standardize the Naoh Solution Which We Made by Dissolving a Measured Mass of Solid Naoh?

Why Do We Standardize the NaOH Solution Which We Made by Dissolving a Measured Mass of Solid NaOH?


In chemistry, standardization plays a crucial role in ensuring accurate and reliable results. One common practice is the standardization of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution, which involves dissolving a measured mass of solid NaOH. This process allows for the determination of the exact concentration of the NaOH solution. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind standardizing NaOH solutions and the importance of this procedure in various applications.

Reasons for Standardization:

1. Purity of the NaOH:

Solid NaOH is often commercially available in the form of pellets, flakes, or granules. However, these products may contain impurities that can affect the concentration of the resulting solution. By standardizing the NaOH solution, we can account for any impurities present and determine its true concentration.

2. Hygroscopic Nature of NaOH:

NaOH has a hygroscopic nature, meaning it easily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This can lead to variations in the concentration of the solution over time. Standardization allows us to quantify the actual concentration at a specific point in time, enabling accurate measurements in subsequent experiments.

3. Chemical Decomposition:

NaOH is prone to chemical decomposition when exposed to air, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) present in the atmosphere. This decomposition can lead to the formation of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), which alters the concentration of the NaOH solution. Standardization allows us to assess the extent of decomposition and adjust the concentration accordingly.

Standardization Procedure:

The standardization of NaOH solutions involves titration against a known concentration of a primary standard acid, such as potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP). The steps generally involved in the standardization process are as follows:

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1. Weighing of KHP: A precise mass of KHP is weighed using an analytical balance. This mass is known accurately, allowing for the calculation of the molarity of the KHP solution.

2. Dissolving KHP in Water: The KHP is dissolved in distilled water, ensuring complete dissolution and proper mixing.

3. Titration: The NaOH solution, whose concentration is to be determined, is slowly added to the KHP solution until the equivalence point is reached. This is indicated by a change in color, often utilizing an indicator such as phenolphthalein.

4. Calculation of NaOH Concentration: Using stoichiometry and the known concentration of the KHP solution, the concentration of the NaOH solution can be calculated.

Importance of Standardization:

1. Accurate Experimental Results:

Standardizing NaOH solutions allows for precise and reliable experimental results. By knowing the exact concentration of the NaOH solution, we can accurately calculate the amount of reactants required and determine the stoichiometry of various reactions.

2. Quality Control:

In industries such as pharmaceuticals, food processing, and cosmetics, the accurate measurement of NaOH concentration is crucial for quality control purposes. Standardization ensures that the correct amount of NaOH is used in the manufacturing process, guaranteeing consistent product quality.

3. Safety Precautions:

NaOH is a strong caustic substance that can cause severe burns and is harmful if ingested or inhaled. By standardizing the NaOH solution, we can determine the exact concentration, allowing for proper handling and safety precautions to be implemented.


Q: Can I skip the standardization step if I am using fresh NaOH?
A: It is always recommended to standardize the NaOH solution, even if it is fresh. This ensures accuracy and eliminates any uncertainty related to impurities or decomposition.

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Q: Can I use a different primary standard acid instead of KHP?
A: While KHP is a commonly used primary standard acid due to its stability and high purity, other primary standard acids, such as oxalic acid or tartaric acid, can be used. However, it is crucial to ensure their purity and proper handling.

Q: Can I standardize the NaOH solution using another method besides titration?
A: Titration is the most commonly used method for standardizing NaOH solutions due to its accuracy and simplicity. However, other methods, such as gravimetry or spectrophotometry, can be employed depending on the specific requirements of the experiment.


The standardization of NaOH solutions plays a vital role in ensuring accuracy, reliability, and safety in various chemical applications. By dissolving a measured mass of solid NaOH and titrating it with a primary standard acid, we can determine the exact concentration of the NaOH solution. This information allows for precise experimental results, quality control, and the implementation of proper safety measures. Standardization is a crucial procedure that should not be overlooked when working with NaOH solutions.

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