I'm making carbon dots for the first time using citric acid as a precursor. The process was as follows: Heat citric acid to 180*C --> Add H2O and NaOH --> Add NaOH to neutralise --> Freeze dry
I added H2O and NaOH like the paper said to do but when it came to added more NaOH to neutralise the solution, my solution was already alkali and I realised that the initial addition of NaOH was the neutralisation step and I didn't have to add what they stated to add. The end product should be a carboxylic acid terminated carbon dot.
Is it possible to add HCl or another acid to neutralise it? My worry with HCl is that it may react with the NaOH to make a predicate and possibly being difficult to separate it.