Universal Indicator

A Universal indicator is a pH indicator composed of a blend of several compounds that exhibits several smooth colour changes over a pH value range from 1-14 to indicate the acidity or basicity of solutions. Although there are a number of commercially available universal pH indicators, most are a variation of a formula patented by Yamada in 1923. Details of this patent can be found in Chemical Abstracts.

Experiments with Yamada’s Universal Indicator are also described in the Journal of Chemical Education.

Details

A universal indicator is typically composed of water, methanol, propan-1-ol, phenolphthalein sodium salt, methyl red, bromothymol blue monosodium salt, and thymol blue monosodium salt

The colours that indicate the pH of a solution, after adding a universal indicator are:

pH range

Description

Colour

0-3

Strong acid

Red

3-6

Acid

Orange/Yellow

7

Neutral

Green

8-11

Base

Blue

11-14

Strong Base

Purple

There are now also available wide range pH test papers with distinct colours for each pH from 1 to 14. Colour matching charts are supplied with the specific test strips purchased.

See also

Litmus test

References

^ Jap. Pat. 99,664, Feb 21, 1933

^ Chem Abstr, 28, 2258 (1934)

^ For a discussion of these experiments, as well as recipes for Yamada and other universal indicators, see Foster, S.F. and Gruntfest, J.Chem.Educ., 14, 274(1937)

^ “Universal Indicator”. ISCID Encyclopedia of Science and Philosophy.

Categories: PH indicators

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