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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 22 (2017) pp 47-50

Potassium Hydrogen Tartrate as a Candidate for Green Chemistry Solution Studies

Madelyn E. Dulin, Jaclyn M. Dziewior, and James E. House*

Department of Chemistry, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL 61701,
Received December 19, 2016. Accepted February 21, 2017.

Published: 28 February 2017

Abstract. Experiments that deal with the nature and properties of solutions are an important part of chemistry laboratory instruction at several levels. However, such experiments are often of a qualitative nature and show little of the physical chemistry of the solutions. In some cases, compounds that are used have toxic character or generate waste that presents problems with disposal. Potassium hydrogen tartrate (cream of tartar) is used in foods and it is a compound that forms solutions that are weakly acidic. Solutions of the compound display electrical conductivity behavior as a function of concentration that is characteristic of solutions containing weak acids. Owing to the limited solubility of potassium hydrogen tartrate, it is also suitable for performing quantitative solubility determinations. In this report, we describe the results of simple, model experiments that show the utility of potassium hydrogen tartrate as a compound for study in undergraduate laboratories.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytic chemistry; green chemistry; potassium hydrogen tartrate; solubility; dissociation; conductivity

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