This week I have focused on better understanding Karl-Fischer titrations, specifically looking at the different methodologies in how they are done, and their resulting levels of precision. Ideally we are looking for something that is cheap, easy to use, quick, and accurate from the micro to milligram scale of H2O detection. I have found a very interesting paper in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry (for future reference the article’s title is “Diaphragm-Free Cell for Trace Determination of Water Based on the Karl Fischer Reaction Using Continuous Coulmetric Titration”) that outlines a diaphragmless single cell system that is still done in a coulmetric method and is extremely precise. This means that instead of buying a $200 dual chamber cell we can just use the cells used for the cyclic voltammeter. Although this paper outlines this method very well, and this seems to be exactly what we are looking for, I have not had the chance to dive fully in, and after meeting with Allison this Wednesday my priority for this next week has shifted into becoming an expert in using the new viscometer!
I also spent sometime this week disassembling the glovebox with Wes and Allison which was definitely a surreal if not frightening process. This was in the continuation of the plan to stick the density meter with the new viscometer attachment into the glovebox. Upon further analysis of this we found that given the delicate nature of the new viscometer, specifically the tiny little beads used in very delicate glass capillaries, that the working with it in the glovebox would be far too cumbersome.