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Finding the Concentration of an Acid.

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Finding the Concentration of an Acid Introduction The extraction of a metal from its ore often produces sulphur dioxide. This is then converted into sulphuric acid, as it is a very soluble gas, and this is then sold as a by-product. The concentration of the sulphuric acid is not known. It is believed to have a concentration of between 0.05moldm-3 and 0.15moldm-3 but the specific concentration is not known. Anhydrous sodium carbonate, a range of indicators and information about them and different types of titration and access to laboratory glassware and equipment is provided. It is the target of this experiment to determine the accurate concentration of the sulphuric acid that is produced from the extraction of the metal from its ore. Background information Extraction of metals The rocks in the earth's crust are a mixture of many different compounds and these rocks are referred to as ores. Metal ores are defined as a mineral that contains enough metal in them so that extraction is worthwhile. Metals are often found as oxides, for example Iron, Aluminium and Copper are all often found combined with oxygen. These metals from the middle part of the reactivity series are also often found as sulphides. Sulphur also occurs in many metal ores, including: * gelena, PbS, * zinc blende, ZnS, * cinnebar, HgS, * stibnite, Sb2S3, * copper pyrites, Cu2S.Fe2S3, and * iron pyrites, Fe2S. * gypsum, CaSO4, and * heavy spar, BaSO4 The extraction of metals from these ores often produces sulphur dioxide. The metals at the top of the reactivity series, for example potassium or sodium, are very reactive and therefore will combine with any non-metals around them and are therefore found in a wide range of compounds such as carbonates, nitrates of phosphates. These elements are unlikely to be found as oxygen as they react with other on-metals instead. Some metals are found native which means that they are uncombined, metals at the bottom of the reactivity series such as gold are platinum are often found native. ...read more.


* Safety Goggles * Overall Method Titration involves using a solution with a known concentration to determine the concentration of another solution using molar calculations. The burettes and pipettes must be both clean and dry or rinsed with the solution that they are going to contain, sulphuric acid. As there is not a fixed number of moles in the burette this method is an effective way of avoiding dilution. A small amount of solution will be added to the burette and pipettes, this solution must then be swirled around for a few moments and then panned out. The apparatus is then wet with the solution. After the burette has been cleaned, it will then be clamped. The acid should be run through the burette to fill up the jet and the tap can be used to remove any air bubbles in the jet. . A funnel will then be placed at the top of the burette and the valve set so that no solution can flow through. The burette and funnel should be set up so that the funnel is below eye level for safety and practical reasons. Remove the funnel after use as otherwise more solution may drip into the burette from the funnel and an accurate volume would not be recorded. The conical flask should be placed underneath the burette so that the solution would run down into it if the valve were open. The conical flask should be placed on a white tile. This makes it clearer to see the colour change of the indicator as the colour of the laboratory bench may interfere with the colour of the indicator and the exact end-point would be difficult to determine. A rough titre needs to be performed first to obtain an approximate value of the volume needed to reach end-point. The burette must be filled with a 100cm3 to the 0cm3 mark so that the meniscus is just touching the graduation mark. ...read more.


It is important to discover what problems the substances may cause and how to deal with spillages and their disposal. Sulphuric Acid Sulphuric acid causes severe burns, solutions with a concentration high than 1.5M are defined as corrosive but solutions between 0.5M and 1.5M should be labelled as an irritant. Therefore it is safe to assume that sulphuric acid with a concentration less than 0.5M offers no serious health problems but still should be handled with care. It should not be fumed and is dangerous with the following substances: * Water * Hydrochloric acid * Chloride * Chlorates * Manganates * Reactive Metals e.g. - potassium None of these substances are being used directly with the sulphuric acid in this experiment. Protection: * Safety Goggles * Overall * Gloves (if spilt) Disposal - Dilute cautiously with water and add anhydrous sodium carbonate. If spilt wear eye protection and gloves, cover with mineral absorbent, add anhydrous sodium carbonate and leave to react. Then add water and rinse area. The main problems associated with sulphuric acid involve a high concentration of acid. As the concentration is between 0.05 and 0.15 no serious precautions need to be taken but care should be taken at all times. Sodium Salts Sodium Carbonate is an irritant, it is irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. Protection * Safety Goggles * Glasses If spilt scoop up and clean area. Dyes and Indicators Dyes and indicators offer a minimal hazard but avoid contact with skin as skin discolouration will occur. It may be flammable. Disposal - Dilute with 10l of water and dispose. General Safety Care must be taken at all times. Safety Goggles and overalls must always be worn. If any substance is swallowed medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. If any substance splashes in the eye the eye should be rinsed for 10 minutes and medical attention should be sought. If spilt on skin wash area with excess water and remove contaminated clothing., If a large area is effected or blistering occurs seek medical attention. ...read more.

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