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The c1v1c2v2 equation is one of the most important stoichiometric calculations that you will encounter when dealing with chemical reactions in the lab. It is used to determine an unknown quantity when there are two solutions/mixtures that are proportional and can be used for many purposes such as diluting solutions, creating different concentrations and converting from one measure of strength to another. In order to correctly use this equation you must be consistent with the units of concentration and volume. This means that the initial concentration and volume must be expressed in the same units, e.g. liters (L), milliliters (mL) or moles per decimeter cubic (cm3) and the final concentration and volume must also be expressed in the same units, e.g. moles per liter (mol/L).
How does the formula work?
This equation works based on the law of conservation, which states that the total mass of a solution remains constant no matter what happens to the concentration or the volume of the solution. This is important because it means that the initial concentration multiplied by the volume of the starting solution will equal the final concentration multiplied by the volume of the final solution. Then, by rearranging the equation, you can determine what volume of the starting solution you will need to prepare a specific concentration from the original concentration.
This simple formula can be a lifesaver for bioscience researchers in the lab who are looking to prepare a series of dilutions from an original stock solution. Using this equation will ensure that the correct dilution is made and that the appropriate ratios are maintained. If you have any questions about this article or any other chemical science related issues, don’t hesitate to come and see us in the lab. We are open from 9am – 4:30pm on Monday to Friday.