Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS)

Degree Name

Chemistry (Analytical/Environmental Option)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Engineering, and Aquatic Ecology

Department or School/College

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Committee Chair

Michael DeGrandpre

Committee Co-chair

Ben Colman

Commitee Members

James Beck


Instrumentation, water, alkalinity, titration, buffer


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Environmental Chemistry


Alkalinity is the acid neutralizing capacity for water, meaning alkalinity measures how sensitive an aquatic system is to acidic inputs. Currently, there are various measuring systems for alkalinity available including chemical test kits, potentiometric techniques, and colorimetric methods. Commercially available products lack the ease of use combined with precision and accuracy desired for on-line process and environmental monitoring. The goal of this project is to develop a simplified alkalinity titration analyzer, called the easyTMT, to measure alkalinity with precision and accuracy comparable to the best conventional methods. The system, under development, uses the Tracer Monitored Titration (TMT) technique. TMT is a method that uses a tracer (in this case, a pH sensitive indicator) in the sample or the titrant. Tracking the tracer concentration eliminates the need to measure volumes of the titrant or the sample, allowing for the use of more economical hardware (e.g. simple pumps). The easyTMT has potential applications in industrial and environmental monitoring, as well as many other applications, by removing many potential sources of human error without sacrificing the accuracy and precision of lab-based techniques. As the easyTMT was developed, problems were encountered that required various experiments to be run including buffer studies, dilution factor studies, and changing system materials. These studies pointed to an adsorption and indicator precipitation problem. Major findings include needing to determine a set volume of titrant to use in titrations and to use only HPFA tubing for static mixing, unless using a surfactant with PEEK tubing as adsorption continued to show up as a concern. The system was applied to acid-base titrations in this project, but could be able to be applied to other titration applications.



© Copyright 2018 Reba Van Beusekom