Determination of Dissolved Oxygen in Water

The aim of the experiment is to determine the quantity of dissolved oxygen present in the given sample(s) by using modified Winkler’s (Azide modification) method.

Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) levels in natural and wastewaters are dependent on the physical, chemical and biochemical activities prevailing in the water body. The analysis of D.O. is a key test in water pollution control activities and waste treatment process control.

Improved by various techniques and equipment and aided by instrumentation, the Winkler (or iodometric) test remains the most precise and reliable titrimetric procedure for D.O. analysis. The test is based on the addition of divalent manganese solution, followed by strong alkali to the water sample in a glass-stoppered bottle. D.O. present in the sample rapidly oxidises in equivalent amount of the dispersed divalent manganous hydroxide precipitate to hydroxides of higher valency states. In the presence of iodide ions and upon acidification, the oxidised manganese reverts to the divalent state, with the liberation of iodine equivalent to the original D.O. content in the sample. The iodine is then titrated with a standard solution of thiosulphate.

  1. 300 mL capacity bottle with stopper
  2. Burette
  3. Pipettes, etc.

Reagents (» click to check the preparation of reagents)
  1. Manganous sulphate solution (MnSO4.4H2O)
  2. Alkali-iodide azide reagent
  3. Conc. sulphuric acid (36 N)
  4. starch indicator
  5. Standard sodium thiosulphate solution (0.025N)
  6. Standard potassium dichromate solution (0.025N)
  1. Add 2 mL of manganous sulphate solution and 2 mL of alkali-iodide azide reagent to the 300 mL sample taken in the bottle, well below the surface of the liquid.
  2. (The pipette should be dipped inside the sample while adding the above two reagents.)
  3. Stopper with care to exclude air bubbles and mix by inverting the bottle at least 15 times.
  4. When the precipitate settles, leaving a clear supernatant above the manganese hydroxide floc, shake again.
  5. After 2 minutes of settling, carefully remove the stopper, immediately add 3 mL concentrated sulphuric acid by allowing the acid to run down the neck of the bottle.
  6. Restopper and mix by gentle inversion until dissolution is complete.
  7. Measure out 203 mL of the solution from the bottle to an Erlenmeyer flask. As 2 mL each of manganese sulphate and azide reagent have been added, the proportionate quantity of yellow solution corresponds to 200 mL of sample is
    .= 200×300   = 203mL
  8. Titrate with 0.025 N sodium thiosulphate solution to a pale straw colour.
  9. Add 1–2 mL starch solution and continue the titration to the first disappearance of the blue colour and note down the volume of sodium thiosulphate solution added (V), which gives directly the D.O. in mg/L.


Sample x Standard sodium thiosulphate solution (0.025N) (Starch indicator)