# At what temperature does citric acid decay?

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1. Jul 31, 2017

### Nicksterino

I am currently performing a school experiment in which I am testing when citric acid decays. We are juicing lemons, filtering them to get a higher concentration of citric acid, placing them in water baths from 10 to 90 degrees Celsius and then titrating them against one mole of sodium hydroxide. Currently, research has shown little data about this topic is out there and our experimentation is proving difficult. Can anyone provide any sources or answers (preferably sources) about this topic?

2. Aug 1, 2017

### symbolipoint

I have not checked what is in any of the resulting hyperlinks, but if you open Google search engine and put in : citric acid thermal decay
there will be several listed hyperlinks which appear related.

3. Aug 1, 2017

### Asymptotic

Look up the Arrhenius equation, too. Perhaps a better way to frame the question is, "How much does increasing the temperature increase the reaction rate".

4. Aug 1, 2017

### Nicksterino

This is about degradation, not reaction rates. Or are the two intertwined somehow?

5. Aug 1, 2017

### Asymptotic

Degradation can be brought about through other mechanisms (exposure to visible and UV light, for instance), but in this case temperature is the controlled variable.
Does a carton of milk degrade - spoil - more rapidly as storage temperature increases? If so, why so?

6. Aug 4, 2017

### octahedr

You haven't described the experiment well enough. No idea what exactly you are doing. Citric acid doesn't start to "decay" appreciably (by purely thermal means) until it gets up above about 148+ degrees Celsius. Maybe this is what your teacher wants you to figure out, that your data is useless because you aren't allowed to use a hot plate. Source:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0040603186870812
There are also other problems with what you've said. Filtering lemon juice would not affect the concentration of citric acid in the aqueous solution. Evaporating on a steam bath, however, would.
You don't titrate with a mole of NaOH. You titrate with a __ molar solution of NaOH.