Determination of Nicotine in Tobacco by Non-Aqueous Titration

Nicotine is a nitrogenous alkaloid that stimulates the parasympathetic nerves. It is highly addictive and is hazardous to health. The determination of the amount of nicotine in tobacco products is therefore important. This Application Note describes a simple method to determine this chemical in tobacco using non-aqueous titration. For comparison, the results determined by GC and IC on the same sample are given.


Chesterfield original cigarette tobacco

Sample Preparation

For the sample, 6 g tobacco is placed in a 500 mL Schott flask into which 2 g barium hydroxide octahydrate is then placed and stirred. Following this, 30 mL saturated barium hydroxide solution is added and then 200 mL extraction solvent. This solution is then placed for 20 min in an ultrasonic bath. At this point the organic phase is collected in an Erlenmeyer flask and placed over anhydrous magnesium sulfate for drying. The suspension is filtered and the filtrate collected.




Blank and Sample Determination

25 mL of the filtrate is placed into a 100 mL beaker and made up to 60 mL with ethanol. The solution is titrated with c(HClO4) = 0.1 mol/L in acetic acid until the first equivalence point is passed.



About Metrohm

At Metrohm is one of the world’s most trusted manufacturers of high-precision instruments for chemical analysis. Metrohm was founded in 1943 by engineer Bertold Suhner in Herisau, Switzerland. Today, Metrohm is represented in 120 countries by subsidiaries and exclusive distributors. The global Metrohm Group also includes the Dutch companies Metrohm Applikon and Metrohm Autolab, manufacturers of online analyzers and instruments for electrochemical research, respectively. Recently, the Metrohm Group was joined by Metrohm Raman, a leading manufacturer of handheld Raman spectrometers.

Metrohm is the global market leader in analytical instruments for titration. Instruments for ion chromatography, voltammetry, conductivity, and stability measurement make the Metrohm portfolio for ion analysis complete. Instruments for Near-infrared and Raman spectroscopy are another, strongly growing segment of the Metrohm portfolio.

Metrohm is a problem solver, both in the laboratory and within the industrial process. To this end, the company offers their customers complete solutions, including dedicated analytical instrumentation as well as comprehensive application know-how. More than 30% of the company’s employees at the Metrohm international headquarters in Herisau work in R&D.

Metrohm has been owned 100% by the non-profit Metrohm Foundation since 1982. The Metrohm Foundation, which does not exert any influence on the company’s business operations, sponsors gifted students in the natural sciences, supports charitable and philanthropic purposes and, above all, ensures the independence of the company.

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Last updated: May 16, 2020 at 5:16 PM


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