The term normality is a term used in chemistry to define the molar concentration (Ci)divided by an equivalence factor feq. It is denoted by the letter N, and the normality formula is:
The unit symbol “N” is used for denoting “eq/L” (equivalent per liter) which is nothing but normality itself. Even though losing favor, medical reporting of serum concentrations in the measurement “meq/L” (= 0.001 N) still takes place.
There are three common areas where normality is used as a measure of reactive species in solution:
- In the case of acid-base chemistry, normality is used to express the concentration of hydronium ions (H3O+) or hydroxide ions (OH−) in solution. Here, the inverse of the equivalence factor will be an integer value. Each solute can produce one or more equivalents of reactive species when dissolved.
- When it comes to redox reactions, the equivalence factor describes the number of electrons a reducing or oxidizing agent can donate or accept. Here, the inverse of the equivalence factor can have a fractional (non-integer) value.
- In the case of precipitation reactions, the equivalence factor measures the number of ions that precipitate in a given reaction. Here, the equivalence factor is an integer value.
The normal concentration of an ionic solution is connected to its electrolytic conductivity through the equivalent conductivity.
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