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Chemistry Cwk Rates of reaction: Investigating One Factor Which Affects How Fast Calcium Carbonate Reacts With Nitric Acid

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Investigating One Factor Which Affects How Fast Calcium Carbonate Reacts With Nitric Acid In this investigation I plan to investigate how the rate at which calcium carbonate reacts with nitric acid is affected by changing a single factor within the experiment. The equations for the reaction are: Calcium carbonate + nitric acid --> calcium nitrate + carbon dioxide + water CaCO3 + 2HNO3 --> Ca(NO3)2 + CO2 + H2O Reactions take place when the particles of different reactants collide with enough energy. A certain number of particles of a particular element or compound have enough energy to participate in the reaction- these particles are said to have activation energy as they have enough energy to activate the reaction. The energy distribution graph above shows how the number of molecules changes across the energy axis, showing that different quantities of molecules have different amounts of energy. The shaded area shows the molecules that have activation energy, and thus can take part in the reaction. Different chemicals have different levels of reactivity due to their molecular structure. However, there are other factors involved in reactions that can be controllable in an experiment and that can affect the rate of reaction. The rate of the reaction is the change in concentration of one of the reactants (the calcium carbonate or nitric acid) or products (the calcium nitrate, carbon dioxide or water) in a given unit of time. There are several factors that influence the rate of a reaction- the concentration of the reactants and the temperature the reactants are exposed to are commonly investigated factors. Although pressure, surface area and the presence of a suitable catalyst also affect the rate of a reaction. The bond type within the reactant can also have an effect on the rate of reaction as ionic compounds usually cause a much faster reaction than those involving covalent bonds. Potential factors that could be investigated with the provided equipment and time would be temperature, concentration and surface area. ...read more.


The chips will then be put into a conical flask. The nitric acid solution will then be produced using the distilled water and 2M nitric acid. Two separate measuring cylinders will be used to measure the liquids- one for the acid and one for the water. This table shows the different amounts of acid and water needed for each molarity. Molarity of nitric acid Volume of nitric acid (ml) Volume of distilled water (ml) 0.75M 18.75 31.25 1M 25 20 1.25M 31.25 18.75 1.5M 37.5 12.5 1.75M 43.75 6.25 2M 50 0 A well lubricated gas syringe will be used to collect the carbon dioxide, with a delivery tube leading to the bung, which will be placed in the conical flask. The equipment set up will be the same as the one used in the preliminary experiment and the earlier diagram shows this. The nitric acid solution will be poured into the conical flask with the calcium carbonate chips and the flask will be bunged immediately. Simultaneously, the first stop watch will start timing. After the gas syringe starts to move, the second stop watch will start timing. The first stop watch will stop timing and the time taken for the gas syringe to start to move will be recorded and analysed later for any significance. Every five seconds a reading will be taken off of the gas syringe and the amount of carbon dioxide will be recorded. The experiment will be repeated for every concentration in order to identify anomalous results easily. The rate of reaction is expected to increase as the concentration of the nitric acid does. This is because of the point explained earlier in that there are more particles with activation energy in a given unit of space and therefore there is a larger likelihood of two of these particles colliding. Within the individual reactions, the rate of reaction is expected to start off fast and then gradually become slower until the reaction is complete. ...read more.


However, by the end of the gas syringes measuring capabilities, all the reactions, except from the one involving the 0.75M acid, were still producing gas at a steady rate. This shows that the reactions weren't complete yet. In the case of the reactions involving the more diluted acids, there is a much more prominent curve. This could be because there are less reactants involved so the reaction will finish quicker than the others. The results of the investigation in some ways displayed my prediction, but the patterns weren't as clearly defined as they could have ideally been; the data was flawed and there were a large number of anomalous results- the most obvious of these being that the three reactions involving the strongest acids were very similar in their results. The investigation was carried out over a series of sessions and different equipment was used each time. For the majority of this equipment it shouldn't have made a large impact. However, a significant change in a gas syringe's performance, i.e. how easily it moves, could have affected the results considerably. Different batches of chips were also used in different sessions. It could be that a particular batch had a larger concentration of big chips or small chips. Changing the size of the chips would change the overall surface area of the total chips. Surface area affects the rate of reaction as it is changing the number of particles of a solid reactant that can take part in the reaction at a particular time. Another problem that the investigation had was that the reaction was still in full swing (for the most part) by the time the carbon dioxide collection had surpassed the syringe's measuring capabilities. What was the rate of reaction at the end of the experiment could have still been the middle point. The correct balance of reactants needs to be achieved in order to get a suitably wide span of results but not to run past the 100cm3 mark on the gas syringe. Either that, or use a larger gas syringe. ...read more.

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