Burette

November 1, 2021

The control and accuracy are two important values in any work in the laboratory and there is nothing better than bureta to ensure compliance with these principles in any procedure performed in these spaces.

Many times the burette tends to be confused with other glass instruments with similar characteristics, however this element has an extra that allows it to be differentiated.

In the following lines I will talk to you about the burette and the trajectory it has had to position itself as one of the most relevant, in the field of volumetry.

What is a Burette?

It is a laboratory instrument made of glass , it has an elongated cylindrical structure and is used to regulate the amounts of liquids that you need to deposit in a given reaction.

Burette is a French word for ” burette ” that refers to a small glass container or the jar where vinegar is stored. Although it is completely detached from the essence of the instrument, I will stick with the definition of a glass container.

This instrument differs from other measuring instruments due to the fact that it has a valve at its end, which allows it to regulate the flow of liquids from the inside of the burette to the outside.

The history of burettes begins in the 19th century, specifically in 1845, a French chemist devised this instrument to make his measurements in the laboratory. The creator of the first burette was Étienne Ossian Henry.

It took exactly five years for a German named Karl Friedrich Mohr to improve on Ossian Henry’s proposal, adding a graduation scale along its entire length, he also devised a new valve system.

Although the buret was an invention of 1845 , the word buret already existed in the vocabulary within laboratories, since 1824. The one who introduced this word in this field was one of the famous names of modern chemistry, the great Frenchman Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac.

What is a Burette for?

The burette is an instrument used in all processes related to the chemical analysis of substances. This is why its use is almost exclusively for laboratories, to the point of being considered a unique instrument in this space.

This instrument is used to distribute a liquid precisely , according to the needs of the environment, at the same time that it can measure the volume of said liquid substance.

All this thanks to the key at the end, which itself is in charge of regulating the instrument in general.

How does a Burette work?

The burettes work for safety with the universal support,   being used vertically requires a lot of precision, when you handle it you will notice that it is more comfortable to use this base to support the burette properly.

In order for it to function properly, it must be installed at the correct height , using the corresponding accessories to stabilize it and prepare it for operation.

After this you will have to fill the buret up to the line that marks 0.00mL either with the buret itself or with the help of a pipette or some other instrument, ensuring that no bubbles form and if they appear, eliminate them.

Finally, hold the burette and regulate the flow of the liquid with the key at its end, opening or closing it according to the need you have.

Uses of the Burette?

The uses of the burette as I mentioned above are almost exclusive for laboratories since they directly intervene in almost all chemical reactions, especially those that require a high degree of precision , as it can even function as a dropper.

Given its specificity, it is a transcendent element in the volumetric area , as well as in the control of pH reactions, as it acts as a regulator by pouring acids and bases into substances.

It is not recommended for use in reactions that emit heat or when handling very hot substances. When they are going to pour, try to reach a line of the perfect measurement scale, the ideal is at 0.0mL and finally, I recommend placing a white paper as a background to better see the product fall or the measurement by transparency of the glass.

The burette is an easy-to-use instrument and provides a scenario of total control in all reactions and also ensures that there will be no excesses in the different measurements.

Types of Burette

There are several buret models which have appeared as this instrument has evolved in history. However, all remain in use, hence the importance of knowing each of these. In general, burettes are divided into:

  • Bureta Digital

Its design is based on the operating mechanism of the syringes , but they are programmed through a computer to make the measurements and therefore, the results of the volumetric measurement or of another process are projected on a digital screen.

  • volumetric burette

It is a burette that is graduated throughout its length and has a valve at its tip that works manually. They can be made of glass or plastic and in order to function, they have a stopcock, which has to be greased with a specialized component to function properly.

  • Piston burette

It works with an internal piston propulsion mechanism This model can work manually or in those equipped with more technology, monitored by a computer.

  • Bureta de Morh

In this model there is no valve as such. It has another technology, based on a rubber tube that contains inside a glass ball that acts as the stopcock.

  • automatic burette

It is a type of burette that is completely automatic, it is programmed to make the corresponding measurements of the volumes and the titrations. They are extremely accurate and work with internal sensors to do so.

It is incredible to see how it has gone from a manual model to one capable of making measurements on its own, which shows the concern of all scientists to improve quality in the workplace and in research.

Characteristics of the burette

The burette is a rather unique instrument, it is constituted by a large number of properties that allow it to precisely fulfill all its tasks within the laboratory. Among the main features of this instrument are:

  • It is a straight tube that works vertically, using the force of gravity to control the outflow times of the liquids.
  • The graduations that this instrument has go from top to bottom.
  • The stopcocks are greased with petroleum jelly or other specialized grease, to make it easy to use.
  • It has a graduation along its entire length.
  • It is made in
  • Its entire internal diameter is completely uniform without narrow or reduced areas.
  • They are not large capacity since they were not designed to measure or contain volumes, but to measure the exact amount to be poured.

The unique qualities of this instrument give it the ability to fulfill the function for which it was designed.

Importance of the Burette

The importance of these instruments lies in their precision. Well, there are very few devices that allow you to perform such exact procedures, thus avoiding errors in the laboratory.

Since its inception, burettes have become a vital ally in the laboratory, being one of the most used instruments, as it is extremely simple, safe and guarantees precise and quality work.

In addition, its role in the chemical analysis of substances, as well as in volumetry and in the reactions in which acids and bases are involved, must be assessed .

The recommendations on the use of the burette are related to ensuring that they are always clean, for that you must wash them with distilled water.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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