The gravimetric method produces and weighs a compound or element in as pure form as possible after some chemical treatment has been carried out on the substances to be examined. Gravimetric analysis is one of the most accurate and precise methods of macro quantitative analysis.
1. It is accurate and precise when using a modern analytical balance.
2. Possible sources of error are readily checked since filtrates can be tested for completeness of precipitation, and precipitates may be examined for the presence of impurities.
3. It is an absolute method involving direct measurement without any form of calibration.
4. Determination can be carried out with relatively inexpensive apparatus; the most expensive items are a muffle furnace and sometimes platinum crucibles.
5. Gravimetric analysis was used to determine the atomic masses of many elements to six-figure accuracy.
6. Gravimetry provides little room for instrumental error and does not require a series of standards for calculating an unknown.
1. The top disadvantage is that it requires meticulous time-consuming.
2. The chemist often prefers modern instrumental methods when they can be used.
3. Gravimetric analysis usually only provides for analysing a single element, or a limited group of elements, at a time.
4. Methods are often convoluted, and a slight misstep in a procedure can often mean disaster for the analysis (colloid formation in precipitation gravimetry, for example).
5. Gravimetric analysis is based on the measurement of mass.
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