Qualitative Analysis vs. Quantitative Analysis

Difference Between Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Analysis

When a person decides to do a research in a particular field of science and technology, especially where a lot of chemical as well as biochemical substances are involved, he first has to finalise the proper methodology as well as methods as per his topic of research. In case of the methods involving chemical and biochemical substances, the researcher usually opts for quantitative as well as qualitative analysis of the substances.

Now, you must be thinking what is the difference between these two types of analysis? In reality there lies a very important basic difference between these two. On one hand, qualitative analysis deals with the determination of the exact constituents that make up the particular substance under research, and on the other, qualitative analysis deals with the determination of the approximate amount of these constituent materials, present in the substance under research. So, in short, there is a hell and heaven difference between these two terms.

In order to explain these two terms, we can take an example. Suppose a person is arrested in the case of drug abuse. So, different biological samples (blood, urine, saliva etc) are subjected to qualitative analysis in order to determine the nature of drugs that he/she has taken i.e. Heroine or ganja or LSD etc. These same samples are then subjected to quantitative analysis in order to determine the weight or the total quantity of the drugs that was consumed by the convict. Quantitative analysis result is always a numerical value.

Now, if we consider a student working in a school’s chemistry lab performing the test for the determining the acidity or basicity of a substance, then that will be referred to as a qualitative analysis. But, if in the same experiment, he/she tries to determine the exact amount of acid or base present in the solution, then that will be quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis deals with the identification of the presence of a substance based on the presence of its characteristic features while quantitative analysis deals with calculating the numerical value of the substance present.

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