Ceric Sulfate

Ceric Sulfate
Chemical Formula H4Ce(SO4)4
Formula Weight 528.40
Equivalent Weight 528.40 (Molar = Normal)
CAS No. 13590-82-4

Ceric Sulfate is a powerful and versatile oxidizing agent that possesses certain advantages over Potassium Dichromate and Potassium Permanganate. These advantages include increased stability, ability to be used in a high concentration of Hydrochloric Acid (where Potassium Permanganate is unsuitable), lack of intense coloration (which would impair the ability to read a buret or other volumetric glassware), and a colorless reduced form (Cerous ion, Ce3+) that can be used as a self-indicator and does not interfere with the color of a reduction-oxidation indicator such as Ferroin. Ceric solutions can also be heated in aqueous solution for a moderate length of time without decomposition and this feature allows them to be used in the determination of many organic compounds.

However, Ceric salts, such as Ceric Ammonium Sulfate and Ceric Ammonium Nitrate, are relatively expensive and do not dissolve readily in water or dilute acid solutions due to hydrolysis and precipitation of Ceric Hydroxide. Solutions of these salts are difficult to prepare and must be made in stronger (1 - 2 Normal) acid levels. Ceric Sulfate solutions may be used in place of Ceric Ammonium Sulfate and Ceric Ammonium Nitrate titrants.

Ceric Sulfate solutions can be standardized with Arsenic Trioxide using Osmium Tetroxide as catalyst and Ferroin as indicator. See the Tech Tip under Arsenic Trioxide for details of this standardization.

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