Electronic burettes have revolutionized the way titrations are carried out in laboratories across the world. They are used for the accurate dispensing of a reagent, especially of one of the reagents in a titration. Before exploring the electronic burette in further detail, let’s talk about titration.
What is titration?
Titration involves the slow addition of one solution of known concentration (titrant) to another solution of known volume but unknown concentration (titrate). In other words, it is a process that determines the concentration of an unknown solution. This process keeps happening until the reaction reaches neutralization, often indicated by a colour change. Usually, researchers use a burette to add the titrant.
Industries where titration is crucial
- Winemaking – The flavour of a wine is defined by the degree of acidity, otherwise known as the level of tartness. The tartness also determines how the wine will respond to ageing. This level of acidity is measured by titration, a straightforward process with minimal requirement of instruments. The titration results inform if one needs to add or subtract ingredients that will maintain the quality of the wine.
- Acid Rain – Scientists and researchers closely study precipitation and the response of precipitation to pollution. The process of titration allows them to check the degree of contamination in the rainwater or snow. The process is feasible and preferred because it does not require expensive equipment. Also, it is quick and highly reliable.
- Pharmacology – Titration is an important step when it comes to the development of medicines as it is heavily based on specific measurements of chemicals. Pharma labs adopt titration and many of its variations along with various specialized instruments that result in an efficient and accurate process.
- Wastewater Analysis – Whether wastewater is fit for consumption, depends on the level of its contamination and its usability degree after filtering and cleaning. Titration is a key step in cleaning the water; special titration equipment is used to check the level of ammonia in water in combination with other reactants to quantify other chemicals present in wastewater.
Commonly available burettes
Glass Burette – A glass burette is a long, graduated glass tube with a tap and a stopcock at its lower end and a tapered capillary tube at the stopcock’s outlet. The stopcock controls the flow of the reagent from the tube to the tip. It is commonly used in school and university labs due to their low cost.
But glass burettes have their disadvantages. The fact that it is made of glass makes it fragile and prone to breakage spilling reagents or causing lab accidents. Then, the operation of the instrument is tedious as manually using a stopcock to maintain the flow of the reagent can lead to errors. Maintaining the titration speed can also be a difficult job, making the experiment prone to more errors.
Shown beside: Illustration of a common glass burette
Digital Burette – A digital burette is easier to handle as compared to the glass burette and is a relatively high-cost instrument. It has numerous sophisticated features that make the titration process simple. This burette can be connected to the computer to save all the titration readings.
Though the digital burette is better than the glass burette in many ways, it is still prone to deliver wrong readings. The reason – manual turning of the knob in the barrel to maintain the flow of the reagents. The slightest of human error can lead to the experiment going wrong.
Scientists and researchers prefer an instrument that facilitates an error-free experiment. E-burettes were designed keeping this very thing in mind.
The Microlit E-burette
An electronic burette or the e-burette, like the Microlit E-burette, is an advanced instrument built keeping in mind ergonomics and intuitive handling. The Microlit E-burette offers sophisticated features and functionality like, touch screen enabled control panel with graphical user interface (GUI), motor-controlled piston movement and three calibrated pre-set speeds to perform accurate titrations.
3 Pre-set Dispensing Speeds
Microlit E-burette offers 3 calibrated pre-set speeds allowing the user to work at the desired speed while avoiding manual error.
- High Speed Dispensing – Dispenses at 1.517 ml/sec
- Low Speed Dispensing – Dispenses at 0.491 ml/sec
- Dropwise Dispensing – 0.01ml per drop
The dropwise dispensing option in the Microlit E-burette is phenomenal as it allows the user to opt for this mode when they are about to reach the end-point of the titration process to dispense droplets as small as 0.01 ml and record a highly accurate end-point.
TFT Touch Screen Control Panel
Shown here: The TFT Touch Screen Control Panel for E-Burette
The TFT touchscreen helps the user to perform quick & accurate titrations, and display numeric data up to two decimal points. The user requires a Stylus and needs to keep it pressed against the screen to perform dispensing and lift it to stop. The touchscreen feature also omits any parallax error which occurs in glass burettes when it is not viewed from a perpendicular position.
Motor Controlled Piston Movement
In the glass and digital burettes, dispensing is done manually which leads to inaccurate results. However, the E-burette has a motor controlled piston movement, at 3 pre-set speeds, which minimizes human effort as well as errors. Also, the motor controlled piston allows the lab personnel to work efficiently as s/he does not have to oversee the dispensing process at every moment.
Operating a Microlit E-burette is easy and user-friendly. Click here to see how you can do the same.