Can you measure the amount of silica in potassium hydroxide solution?

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Offline thedoc

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B.  Coe asked the Naked Scientists:
I work with potassium hydroxide, we use it to remove a type of shell that has silica as a binder.  The KOH is in a 3000 gallon tank at is 45% KOH.  

My question is, is there a way to measure the amount of silica that's in the KOH?  Reason is when there is  to much silica the KOH is no longer working as well.  I can find no information anywhere on the internet about this. HELP PLEASE.

Thank you

B.  Coe

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/08/2012 16:30:01 by _system »


Offline distimpson

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Hard to give a definitive answer when it depends on details of your situation, e.g., sensitivity, cost, interfering substances, ...

For industrial processes the ASTM has many documented methods, here is one for silica.

Silica solubility in water is very pH dependent, if you neutralize the solution it may be possible to recover the precipitate, dry and weight? Just a thought, may not work for your application. Whatever you do, remember to run the appropriate positive and negative controls.