Simultaneous determination of calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity by complexometric titration with potentiometric or photometric indication in water and beverage samples


This bulletin describes the determination of calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity in water by complexometric titration with EDTA as titrant. It is grouped into two parts, the potentiometric determination and the photometric determination.

There are multiple definitions of the different types of water hardness. In this Application Bulletin, the following definitions are used: alkalinity, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, total hardness, and permanent hardness. Explanations of these definitions and other expressions are provided in the Appendix.

Determination of alkalinity during the photometric part is carried out in a separate acid-base titration before the complexometric titration of calcium and magnesium in water. Permanent hardness can be calculated from these values. The determination of calcium and magnesium in beverages (fruit and vegetable juices, wine) is also described.

The photometric part includes the determinations of total and calcium hardness and thereby indirectly magnesium hardness using Eriochrome Black T and calconcarboxylic acid as indicators (in accordance with DIN 38406-3).