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The Orsat apparatus is used to measure volumes of carbon dioxide, oxygen and carbon monoxide within a fixed volume of a sample gas (100cc).
The Orsat apparatus works using a very simple method. To find the volume of a particular gas within the sample a fixed volume of the sampled gas is passed through a specific solution which absorbs only the required gas. The remaining volume of the gas can then be re- measured and compared with the original volume to find the proportion of a specific gas within the sample.
The sampled gas is passed through a sequence of solutions each removing one of the gases and the remaining volume calculated after wards. A solution of caustic potash is used to absorb the carbon dioxide, a mixture of pyrogallic acid, caustic potash and water is used to absorb the oxygen, and to remove the carbon monoxide a solution of cuprous chloride is used.