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Determine which of two equations below is the correct equation of the thermal decomposition of copper carbonate (CuCO3).

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AS Assessed Practical 1 (Skill P) Which Equation is Correct? Aim The aim of this experiment is to determine which of two equations below is the correct equation of the thermal decomposition of copper carbonate (CuCO3). Equation 1: 2CuCO3(s) Cu2O(s) + 2CO2(g) + 1/2O2(g) Equation 2: CuCO3(s) CuO(s) + CO2(g) The right equation will be proved to be correct by measuring the volume of gas given off while heating the copper carbonate. To find which equation is correct we can use ideas about the mole and the volume one mole of gas occupies at standard conditions. Background Information Copper Carbonate - CuCO3 Copper (ii) trioxocarbonate (IV), it exists as basic salts and is found naturally as malachite (CuCO3.Cu(OH)2) and azurite Cu(OH)2CuCO3. It is a blue green, insoluble solid and decomposes into copper (II) and carbon (IV) oxide on heating. It is also reacts with dilute acids to produce carbon (IV) oxide. Copper - Cu Copper is a transition element. Copper is a good conductor of electricity so is used in electrical generators, motors and for electrical wiring. It is also a good conductor of heat so is used in motor vehicle radiators, air-conditioners and home heating systems. Black copper oxide - CuO Copper (II) oxide, it is obtained by heating copper carbonate or copper in oxygen. ...read more.


The bung must be tightly inserted to reduce gas loss. The test will be repeated until there are 3 consistent results to obtain a good average, this would minimise the chance of anomalous results. The apparatus must be kept the same and cleaned properly throughout the tests. Enough copper carbonate should be used so that the gas produced is less than the volume of the gas syringe so it can be measured. However, there must be enough gas produced so that the result is accurate. Safety When conducting the experiment goggles and a lab coat have to be worn, the copper carbonate dust may irritate the eyes, etc. Care must be taken in using a Bunsen burner. Method of the practical Apparatus Bunsen burner - to heat copper carbonate Splint - to light Bunsen burner Heatproof mat -protection against heat Boss and clamp stand - to hold gas syringe 100cm3 (0.1dm3) syringe - to measure volume of gas produced Boiling tube - container for copper carbonate to be heated, has a higher surface area to heat the copper carbonate than a conical flask Test tube holder - to hold boiling tube Tube with bung attachment - so gas can pass from conical flask to gas syringe with minimal loss Accurate balance - to weigh copper carbonate to great accuracy Chemicals 0.24 grams of copper carbonate Limewater Safety Safety goggles Lab coat I ...read more.


Repeat to get 3 consistent results and take the average. This reduces the risk of error in your results. Also ensure that all variables capable of influencing the results are kept constant. For example, the same amount of copper carbonate is used in each experiment and using the same apparatus again helps reduce the risk of error. Diagram of apparatus set-up I shall first calculate the gas that would be collected by both equations and then talk about the method used to decompose the copper carbonate and collect the gas. Then I will explain how you would compare the actual gas collected to your to two theoretical values of gas produced and thus find out the correct equation. Other tests Limewater could be used to make sure that carbon dioxide is produced: it turns milky in presence of carbon dioxide; this is to make sure that one of the equations is possible A glowing splint could be used to test whether oxygen is produced: it re-lights in presence of oxygen, if it is shown that oxygen is released, then equation 1 is correct. Conclusion If the amount of gas produced matches or is slightly less than the predicted amount, this shows that carbon dioxide and no oxygen is produced, proving equation 2 to be correct. Collecting slightly less gas in the syringe shows that escape of gas. Therefore I predict that equation 2 is correct. In addition, in combustion reactions, oxygen is needed for the reaction so it is never produced. ...read more.

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