Principles of Karl Fischer Moisture Measurement

What is the Karl Fischer Method?

The Karl Fischer method, discovered by German chemist Karl Fischer in 1935, is a method for measuring moisture through titration. He discovered that iodine reacts selectively with water by using a certain reagent. The reagent was called the Karl Fischer reagent after the name of the discoverer.

There are two main methods for the Karl Fischer method.

The first is the "volumetric titration method" (or volumetric method). In this method, Karl Fischer's reagent is added dropwise, and the moisture content is determined from the volume of the reagent added dropwise to the endpoint.

The second is the "coulometric titration method" (or coulometric method). This method uses an electrolyte based on Karl Fischer's reagent. The reagent is placed in a sealed titration cell in advance, and a sample is added. Then, depending on the amount of water contained in the added sample, iodine is generated from the electrolyte by electrolysis, which is the endpoint of the reaction. The amount of electricity required for this (amount of iodine generated) is converted to the amount of water content.

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