Quantitative analysis (chemistry)
In chemistry, quantitative analysis is the determination of the absolute or relative abundance (often expressed as a concentration
In chemistry, concentration is defined as the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Four types can be distinguished: mass concentration, molar concentration, number concentration, and volume concentration...

) of one, several or all particular substance(s)
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

 present in a sample.

Once the presence of certain substance(s) in a sample is known, the study of their absolute or relative abundance can help in determining specific properties. Knowing the composition of a sample is very important and several ways have been developed to make it possible, like gravimetric and volumetric analysis. Gravimetric analysis yields more accurate data about the composition of a sample than volumetric analysis does, but the first one takes more time to perform in the laboratory. Volumetric analysis in the other side doesn't take that much time and the results that we obtain are in the most cases satisfactory. Volumetric analysis can be simply a titration
Titration, also known as titrimetry, is a common laboratory method of quantitative chemical analysis that is used to determine the unknown concentration of an identified analyte. Because volume measurements play a key role in titration, it is also known as volumetric analysis. A reagent, called the...

 based in a neutralization reaction but it can also be a precipitation
Precipitation (chemistry)
Precipitation is the formation of a solid in a solution or inside anothersolid during a chemical reaction or by diffusion in a solid. When the reaction occurs in a liquid, the solid formed is called the precipitate, or when compacted by a centrifuge, a pellet. The liquid remaining above the solid...

 or a complex forming reaction as well as a titration based in an redox
Redox reactions describe all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation state changed....

 reaction. However, each method in quantitative analysis has a general specification, in neutralization reactions, for example, the reaction that occurs is between an acid and a base, which yields a salt and water, hence the name neutralization. In the precipitation reactions the standard solution
Standard solution
In analytical chemistry, a standard solution is a solution containing a precisely known concentration of an element or a substance i.e, a known weight of solute is dissolved to make a specific volume. It is prepared using a standard substance, such as a primary standard. Standard solutions are used...

 is in the most cases silver nitrate
Silver nitrate
Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound with chemical formula . This compound is a versatile precursor to many other silver compounds, such as those used in photography. It is far less sensitive to light than the halides...

 which is used as a reagent to react with the ions present in the sample and to form a high insoluble precipitate. Precipitation methods are often called simply as Argentometry
In analytical chemistry, argentometry is a type of titration involving the silver ion. Typically, it is used to determine the amount of chloride present in a sample. The sample solution is titrated against a solution of silver nitrate of known concentration...

. In the two other methods the situation is the same. Complex forming titration is a reaction that occurs between metal ions and a standard solution that is in the most cases EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid). In the redox titration that reaction is carried out between an oxidizing agent
Oxidizing agent
An oxidizing agent can be defined as a substance that removes electrons from another reactant in a redox chemical reaction...

 and a reduction agent.

For example, quantitative analysis performed by mass spectrometry
Mass spectrometry
Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles.It is used for determining masses of particles, for determining the elemental composition of a sample or molecule, and for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and...

 on biological samples can determine, by the relative abundance ratio of specific protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

s, indications of certain diseases, like cancer.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative

The term "quantitative analysis" is often used in comparison (or contrast) with "qualitative analysis", which seeks information about the identity or form of substance present. For instance, a chemist might be given an unknown solid sample. He or she will use "qualitative" techniques (perhaps NMR
NMR spectroscopy
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy, is a research technique that exploits the magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei to determine physical and chemical properties of atoms or the molecules in which they are contained...

 or IR spectroscopy) to identify the compounds present, and then quantitative techniques to determine the amount of each compound in the sample. Careful procedures for recognizing the presence of different metal ions have been developed, although they have largely been replaced by modern instruments; these are collectively known as qualitative inorganic analysis
Qualitative inorganic analysis
Classical qualitative inorganic analysis is a method of analytical chemistry which seeks to find elemental composition of inorganic compounds. It is mainly focused on detecting ions in an aqueous solution, so that materials in other forms may need to be brought into this state before using standard...

. Similar tests for identifying organic compounds (by testing for different functional group
Functional group
In organic chemistry, functional groups are specific groups of atoms within molecules that are responsible for the characteristic chemical reactions of those molecules. The same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reaction regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of...

s) are also known.

Many techniques can be used for either qualitative or quantitative measurements. For instance, suppose an indicator solution changes color in the presence of a metal ion. It could be used as a qualitative test: does the indicator solution change color when a drop of sample is added? It could also be used as a quantitative test, by studying the colour of the indicator solution with different concentrations of the metal ion. (This would probably be done using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy or ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry refers to absorption spectroscopy or reflectance spectroscopy in the ultraviolet-visible spectral region. This means it uses light in the visible and adjacent ranges...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.