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Carry out an experiment investigating the effect of varying acid concentration on the rate of decomposition of limestone on the exterior of the Lincoln Cathedral.

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Introduction

Lincoln Cathedral Investigation Planning: Aim of Investigation: To carry out an experiment investigating the effect of varying acid concentration on the rate of decomposition of limestone on the exterior of the Lincoln Cathedral. Preliminary Work: Aim: To find the most effective acid on the decomposition of limestone. Equipment: Conical flask Delivery tube Water bath Measuring cylinder Water Hydrochloric acid (50cm3) Nitric acid (50cm3) Sulphuric acid (50cm3) Limestone (3 medium sized marble chips) Stopwatch Diagram: Procedure: Medium marble chip of limestone was added to the conical flask and the inverted measuring cylinder was filled with water. It was carefully tipped into the water bath using the 'up and over' method. 50cm3 of 2M hydrochloric acid was added to the conical flask with the limestone. The delivery tube was put under the measuring cylinder and the timer was started to measure the time taken to collect 50cm3 of carbon dioxide gas. This procedure was repeated using two other acids; sulphuric and nitric. The acid that produced the fixed amount of carbon dioxide was the most effective acid on the decomposition of limestone and therefore was to be used again in the main investigation. Results: Acid Time taken to produce 50cm3 of CO2 (seconds) Hydrochloric 2M 317 Sulphuric 2M No reaction Nitric 2M 474 Conclusion: Using the results obtained from the above table, it can be deduced that hydrochloric acid has the greatest effect on the decomposition of limestone. ...read more.

Middle

x 2 = 1.6M (30/50) x 2 = 1.2M (20/50) x 2 = 0.8M (10/50) x 2 = 0.2M The reason for using five different concentrations of acid was to give a more accurate pattern of results. The range of concentrations used is 0.2M to 2M. This is sufficient since any concentrations below 0.2M will take too long to have an effect on the limestone and concentrations up to 2M will provide enough results to show the relationship between the concentration of acid and the rate of reaction. To ensure accurate and reliable results are obtained, the experiments will be repeated three times and an average of those will be taken. The results were plotted in a table and the rate of reaction was calculated using: Rate of reaction = 1/t Prediction: Using the collision theory, I predict that as the concentration of hydrochloric acid is increased, the rate of reaction between the acid and limestone will also increase. This is because increasing the concentration of acid increases the number of acid particles which can collide into the limestone so the chances of a successful collision are greater. Obtaining evidence: Results from preliminary experiment: Acid Time taken to produce 50cm3 of CO2 (seconds) Hydrochloric 2M 317 Sulphuric 2M No reaction Nitric 2M 474 As mentioned earlier, it can be deduced that hydrochloric acid has the greatest effect on the decomposition of limestone. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results obtained were reliable since the results of repeated experiments were close to those of the original tests. I used the average of the three results to obtain a more accurate pattern in my results. I feel that my results were fairly accurate, but they could have been more accurate if I had used the gas and syringe method since collecting carbon dioxide in the inverted measuring cylinder was slightly difficult and inaccurate to measure when the fixed amount of carbon dioxide was collected. Despite this, I found there were no anomalous readings in my results. This could be due to the fact that the procedure was simple and straightforward to follow. I think it would have been easier to have used a clamp stand as part of the equipment, as it would have kept our hands free, making the experiment safer. The experiment was safe to conduct since I used safety goggles to protect my eyes from the acid, and the maximum concentration of acid used was 2M, which is not very corrosive. If I were to carry out the experiment again, I would use the gas and syringe method, as although it is slightly harder to set up than the up and over method, it would give more accurate results. In addition, I would use a wider range of concentrations of acid so that any pattern that emerges will become more evident. Meena Jassal ...read more.

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