Density of sodium hydroxide

by tigger
Tags: density, hydroxide, sodium
 P: 12 Hi all.. I have a question regarding the density of a solution. In my lab manual, it said to use 50 mL of 20% NaOH solution I have problem of understanding whether the 20% is the molar or mass or volume basis.. It doesn't state anything else in there.. what does it usually means? And i think i need density to find the number of moles of NaOH in this solution.. or am i wrong? Thanks in advance!
 Emeritus Sci Advisor PF Gold P: 1,430 When solution are express in %, it is either volume per volume (v/v), weight per volume (w/v) or weight per weight (w/w). In the case, your solution is w/v and 10 g of NaOH are present in a 50 mL solution. All you need to do is calculated the number of mole and the molarity.
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P: 1,384
 Quote by iansmith When solution are express in %, it is either volume per volume (v/v), weight per volume (w/v) or weight per weight (w/w). In the case, your solution is w/v and 10 g of NaOH are present in a 50 mL solution. All you need to do is calculated the number of mole and the molarity.

Reeaaallllllllyyyyy? Percentage when units are unspecified is w/w, and on very rare occasions, v/v (some liquid mixtures). Never w/v or v/w. It's sloppy usage to specify concentration in percentage --- chemists are sloppy. You'll run into all sorts of bizarre concentration scales, grains per MMF for odorizing natural gas, lbs. per gallon for pesticides, 3.2 beer (no one knows what the composition of the beverage really is) and in most such cases, the odd units are specified.

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Density of sodium hydroxide

 Quote by tigger Hi all.. I have a question regarding the density of a solution. In my lab manual, it said to use 50 mL of 20% NaOH solution I have problem of understanding whether the 20% is the molar or mass or volume basis.. It doesn't state anything else in there.. what does it usually means? And i think i need density to find the number of moles of NaOH in this solution.. or am i wrong?
20% is either w/w or w/v, depending on the way it was prepared. If it is not precisely expressed it probably doesn't matter and NaOH is in large excess. In both cases you need density for precise calculations.

20% w/w is 6.1M (d - 1.222)

20% w/v is 5.0M (d = 1.187)
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 Quote by Bystander Reeaaallllllllyyyyy? Percentage when units are unspecified is w/w, and on very rare occasions, v/v (some liquid mixtures). Never w/v or v/w.
We run into w/v all the time when it is not specify. I could show protocols in molecular biology that are filled with percentage with unspecify units and it is never. It is always either w/v and v/v.
P: 986
 Quote by iansmith We run into w/v all the time when it is not specify. I could show protocols in molecular biology that are filled with percentage with unspecify units and it is never. It is always either w/v and v/v.
The assumption is usually the way you measure something. NaOH is a solid, so use mass. Water is a liquid, so use volume. NaOH in water would be m/v. If you take something like vodka which is alcohol in water, that would probably be v/v because alcohol and water are both liquids. Two salts would be m/m because they're both solids.
P: 309
 Quote by ShawnD The assumption is usually the way you measure something. NaOH is a solid, so use mass. Water is a liquid, so use volume. NaOH in water would be m/v. If you take something like vodka which is alcohol in water, that would probably be v/v because alcohol and water are both liquids. Two salts would be m/m because they're both solids.
The problem is that percentage solutions are ambiguous when units differ. For example, would a "20% NaOH solution" be 1 g NaOH/5 ml of H20? Or every 1 g NaOH/ 5 L or H20? Water happens to have a density of approximately 1 g/ml but what if you were using something like oil?

If I saw something that said "20% solution" and it the solute wasnt a liquid, I would interpret it to mean that 20% of the solution consists of the solute. in other words, the mole ratio of solute to solvent is 20%. I would say that the directions are ambigous.