Scientists most commonly express the concentrations of solutions in units of molarity, or moles of solute per litre of solution. In some instances, however, scientists prefer to express concentration in units of normality, or equivalents of solute per litre of solution. When HCl dissolves in water, it releases one hydrogen atom: HCl ---> H+ + Cl-.
A 1 N, or 1 normal, HCl solution is therefore the same as a 1 M, or 1 molar, solution. This means the solution contains 1 mole of HCl per litre of solution, or approximately 35 grams of HCl per litre.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Rubber gloves
- Safety goggles
- Concentrated hydrochloric acid
- 10-milliliter graduated cylinder
- 1-liter beaker or flask
- Distilled water
- 1-liter plastic or glass bottle with cap
- Baking soda
Put on rubber gloves and eye protection and measure 83 millilitres of concentrated hydrochloric acid in a 10-milliliter graduated cylinder.
Fill a 1-liter beaker or flask about half full with distilled water.
Add the concentrated hydrochloric acid to the beaker or flask and swirl the flask to mix the contents.
Pour additional distilled water into the beaker or flask to bring the total volume to exactly 1,000 millilitres, or 1 litre. The beaker or flask now contains 1 litre of 1 N hydrochloric acid.
Transfer the solution to a plastic or glass bottle, cap it tightly and label it "1 N HCl."
Tips and warnings
- The procedure described here details the preparation of 1 litre of 1 N hydrochloric acid. The quantities, however, are directly scalable, which means that you can reduce all volume by half to prepare 0.5 litres, or multiply all volumes by two to prepare 2 litres.
- Clean up any spills of hydrochloric acid by thoroughly dousing the spill with baking soda, then wiping it up with a paper towel.
- Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to tissue and produces choking fumes when exposed to air. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. Work in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling hydrochloric acid fumes. Thoroughly familiarise yourself with the dangers of hydrochloric acid by reading the material safety data sheet provided in the Resources.
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