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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 3 (2002) pp 146-148

Statistical Comparison of Multiple Methods for the Determination of Dissolved Oxygen Levels in Natural Waters

Matthew E. Johll,*,† David Poister, Jill Ferguson

Department of Chemistry, St. Norbert College, 100 Grant St., De Pere, WI 54115, Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011
Received November 3, 2001. Accepted February 27, 2002

Published online: 17 May 2002

Abstract. The following experiment reinforces students’ working knowledge of statistics by utilizing the t test to compare the results of two independent methods for the determination of dissolved oxygen (DO). In this experiment students utilize a dissolved oxygen probe to determine the levels of DO in natural waters at two sampling locations while obtaining samples of water from the laboratory for analysis using the classic Winkler titration. The importance of using proper sampling methods and techniques to obtain representative samples is a large focus of the prelaboratory discussion and is continually stressed during fieldwork. After analyzing the water samples by the DO meter and the Winkler titration, students pool the class data and are asked to determine if the two methods for dissolved oxygen agree at each sampling location. The students are then asked to determine if the DO levels at the different sampling locations are statistically different or not. The students are asked to consider why their results agree or differ from the theoretical value they calculate using Henry’s law.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; quantitative analysis; dissolved oxygen; sampling; t test; BOD

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (206 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Chemicals list (PDF format 111 KB)10.1007/s00897020560b
Student pre-lab (PDF format 171 KB)10.1007/s00897020560c
Laboratory instuctions (PDF format 53 KB)10.1007/s00897020560d

Issue date: June 7, 2002

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