How Is Titration Different From Colorimetry?

Color is key in both titration and colorimetry.
••• flasks image by Wolszczak from

Both titration and colorimetry commonly use color observations to determine the unknown quantity of a substance. However, the underlying mechanism causing the observed color is different for each laboratory method.


A substance of known concentration, an acid for example, is added to a substance of unknown concentration, a base for example, until an indicator undergoes a color change showing that the acid and base are present in a known proportion. By measuring the volume of acid added during the titration, the amount of base present can be calculated.


Different substances absorb specific wavelengths of light, leaving the complementary colors to be seen. As light passes through a substance of unknown concentration, the amount of light absorbed is proportional to the amount of substance present. So concentration can be calculated by the measured absorbency or the observed color intensity.


The color change observed during a titration indicates that the two substances involved have interacted in a particular way. The unknown quantity of one substance can be calculated from the known quantity of the other substance. The intensity of color observed during colorimetry indicates the amount of light absorbed by the given substance and by extension the amount of substance present.

Related Articles

Extract Your Own DNA and More With These Awesome Science...
How to Determine the Concentration of a Titration
Definition of Endpoint Titration
What Does Titration Mean?
How to Do Titration Calculations
How to Use Log on a TI-83
How to Calculate End Point
Why Does Phenolphthalein Change Color?
How to Calculate the K Value on a Titration Graph
How to Neutralize an Acid
How to Know When a Titration Is Complete
Use of Titration
How to Calculate Alkalinity After Titration
How to Detect Potassium Nitrate
Types of Spectrometers
How to Find the Half Equivalence Point in a Titration...
Precipitation Titration Techniques
The Uses of Volumetric Analysis
How to Use a Protractor to Measure a Triangle
Four Characteristics of a Primary Standard Substance
Errors in Titration Experiments