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Chemistry copper sulphate and zinc

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Introduction

GSCE Chemistry coursework Investigating the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate solution Theory When two substances react, one of three things can happen. The reaction might be exothermic, and produce a lot of energy for a small activation input. It might be endothermic, and absorb heat energy from the environment in order to react. They could, of course, just not react at all. Copper sulphate and zinc is what I will be investigating, and I will measure the temperature given off to record the rate of reaction. I expect that the two chemicals will produce an exothermic reaction, purely because zinc is far more reactive than copper and it will displace the copper creating heat. Method To do the experiment I will need the following equipment: * Powdered zinc * Copper sulphate solution (0.5M) * Measuring cylinder * Timer * Weighting scales * Polythene cups * Periodic table * Thermometer I will be recording the temperature given off during the experiment. I could have also measured how much copper was produced during the experiment, however this would have been very tedious and highly unpractical at this level of science I will use a polythene cup, which will give me a more accurate reading. ...read more.

Middle

or stripes of zinc, as these will alter the time taken for the reaction to take place, as the active surface areas are different. The copper sulphate solution will be at room temperature (25 deg. Celsius), so all of the starting temperatures are the same. I will conduct the experiment three times in order to check my results for any anomalies. Preliminary experiments I conducted preliminary experiments using 1g of zinc, in order to predict, with greater accuracy, the outcome of my experiments. It showed that the experiment was indeed exothermic, and that the temperature given off grew as the experiment progressed. I also decided that I would only time the experiments for a maximum of ninety seconds each, as this was ample time for the results to be recorded onto a graph. Prediction I predict that the zinc will displace the copper in this experiment. I believe this because zinc is a more reactive element than copper, and it will therefore take the place copper to form zinc sulphate and copper. In the experiments where I am varying the quantity of zinc, the greater the amount of zinc, the greater the rate of reaction. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that I may have added some more insulating material to the cup if I did it a third time, such as some foil, so that heat loss was minimised further. If I were to improve my experiment, I would use the theory of moles to completely disassociate all the copper with zinc, without having excess zinc left in the cup. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to perform this task, but it would have been very interesting to see the results. This would be a far easier and a far more accurate way to measure the rate of reaction. There would also be less anomalous results. The main factor that caused anomalous results was human error, either reading the thermometer wrong and therefore copying the results down wrong, or starting the timer at the wrong time. If I could, I would have used a machine to record the results, as this would have cut out the error. We can see from the graph titled 'Second Experiments' that on the 0.41 grams of added zinc, from 30 to 45 seconds there is an unexplainable dip, and then the points realign. These are anomalous results because they do not fit in with what we expected to see, which is a positive good correlation. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Work produced is of the level: 3 STARS

Strengths:
You have correctly identified the independent and dependant variables, used appropriate scientific terminology in your explanations and carried out calculations correctly.

The overall structure of the report needs to be developed along with detailed scientific explanations for the chemical reaction taking place including the use of equations in order to gain a higher mark.

Marked by teacher Farat Altaf 01/12/2012

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