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Determining the Correct Equation for the Decomposition of Copper Carbonate.

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Practical 1: Determining the Correct Equation for the Decomposition of Copper Carbonate. Planning The task set is to prove or disprove which of the two given equations is correct by thermally decomposing CuCO3 and analysing the two possible oxides formed. Equation 1: 2CuCO3 ?CuO(s) + 2CO2 (g) + 1/2O2 (g) Equation 2: CuCO3 ?CuO(s) + CO2 (g) In order to do this we need to call upon previous knowledge about the mole. The key idea involved in solving this problem is collecting a volume of gas by performing safe and fair test. My 'Advanced Chemistry for You' reinforces my previous knowledge; one mole of gas at room temperature occupies a volume of 24dm3(litres). This is important information as when conducting the experiment in a classroom we have to scale down. If we tried to prove the equations as they stood above, used one mole of Copper Carbonate and just did the above practical for this experiment, in theory we would collect 24dm� of carbon dioxide gas. We would then need to ensure that first and for most we had a big enough vessel to collect the gas in. This won't work, as too much CO2 is present in both cases! Background Information: To begin working out where to begin we need to identify what we are trying to prove and collect information that will be relevant to this. ...read more.


D) I will let the gas in the gas syringe cool down to room temperature before I take a reading. This is so it is at room temperature and pressure. E) I could also repeat the experiments 3-4 times to obtain an accurate average, this would minimise the risk of errors and it would also account for any anomalous results. Equipment 1. Heat proof mat 2. Bunsen burner 3. Test tube 4. Bung 5. Glass tubing 6. Gas syringe 7. Accurate weighing scales capable of measuring to 0.01 of a mole. 8. One mole of copper carbonate 9. Safety goggles 10. Laboratory coat Safety When sorting out the safety for this practical I consulted the 'School Science Services Hazcards'. These would give me the details about the substance I would be using and what to do in the event of an accident. Basic Copper carbonate is harmful if swallowed. The dust will also irritate the lungs, skin and eyes. This means that when conducting the experiment we will wear goggles and a lab coat. If it gets on our skin we are to wash the area thoroughly. When dealing with the busen burner we must also take care not to burn ourselves, by either touching the burner while hot or touching and of the equipment it has heated. ...read more.


Copper carbonate is a green solid. Copper oxide is a jet black solid. Green Black 6. When you are sure the copper carbonate has completely decomposed, measure and note down the volume of gas obtained. 7. Repeat stages 1 - 6 three to four times, then 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. Conclusion How to tell which equation is correct? If for example we completely decomposed one mole of copper carbonate, which is not possible in the school laboratories, but in theory, we would produce 24 litres of carbon dioxide. If any more gas was obtained, this would indicate that another gas was being produced, as is the case in option 1. If a little less or exactly 24 litres of gas was collected this would indicate that equation 2 is correct. Collecting less than 24 litres would just suggest there was an error in the method or a gas leakage I conclude that the most probable equation that is correct is equation 2. Previous knowledge may also help to support this prediction as when anything combusts oxygen gas is never given off as a product because the oxygen is needed for the reaction. ...read more.

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