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I am part of a small chemical company who are attempting to sell Epsom Salts TM. I need to find out how to produce Epsom Salts at different speeds so can inform my company how to make Epsom SaltsTM at the fastest rate.

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Aim: I am part of a small chemical company who are attempting to sell Epsom Salts TM. I need to find out how to produce Epsom Salts at different speeds so can inform my company how to make Epsom Salts TM at the fastest rate. Research I must present my company with research about salts and rates of reaction to improve our knowledge, essential for a successful investigation. Salts are ionic compounds formed from the replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid by metal atoms. Salts are usually crystalline at room temperature. Epsom salts is the common name for magnesium sulphate heptahydrate MgSO47H2O, a water-soluble bitter tasting compound that occurs as white or colourless needle shaped crystals. It is used in leather tanning, mordant dying, fire proofing. Epsom salts is used medicinally as a purgative (a laxative). A Reaction between an acid with a metal can form salts: Acid + Metal Salt + Hydrogen To form the salt magnesium sulphate, the company Epsom Salts TM has to react magnesium with sulphuric acid. The equation to make Epsom salts is: Sulphuric acid + Magnesium Hydrogen + Magnesium sulphate heptahydrate H2SO4 (l) + M (s) H2 (g) + SO4M (s) This is an ionic bond because the metal (magnesium) loses its electrons from its outer shell to form positive ions. The non-metal (sulphuric acid) gains the electrons in their outer shell to form negative ions. Collision Theory For a chemical reaction to occur, the reacting particles must collide. There must also be enough energy involved in the collision to break the chemical bonds in the reacting molecules. If the energy transfer is not large enough the particles will just bounce off one another. A collision that does have enough energy to result in a chemical reaction is referred to as an effective collision. This approach to reactions is called collision theory. Rates of Reaction The rate of reaction can vary between a fraction of a second to years. ...read more.


* Concentration of acid- if the concentration (mole) of acid increases there is more reactant molecules to bind with the magnesium's active sites. * Temperature- affects the rate because heat energy provides the energy for the molecules to collide, increasing the reaction. A low temperature means that the reaction is slow but if too high, the molecules denature so no reaction occurs at all. * pH- affects the electrical charges on the active site and the substrate so the pH can affect how the substrate fits the enzyme due to changed charges of the molecules not attracting to one another. In this experiment I have changed the variable of concentration of acid, therefore for a fair test it is essential I keep the other possible variables constant. Fair test To make this investigation fair, so there are not any deceptive results, the following will have to remain the same for each test: * Use the same volume of sulphuric acid in every test - Even though I am varying the concentration on sulphuric acid in the experiment. It is vital the volume is kept constant as this acid is kept constant as this would affect the rate of reaction. * Keep the temperature constant - the temperature affects the rate of rate of reaction and to ensure molecules are denatured, do all tests at room temperature. * Keep the pH level constant - the pH level affects the rate of reaction. * Use the same weight of magnesium and keep the amount of surface area exposed the same..-. The increase or decrease in magnesium's surface area will affect the rate of reaction as there are more molecules exposed to collide and react with the sulphuric acid molecules. * Start timing after corks have been inserted into the conical flask..-. To ensure measurements are not read at the wrong time. Method 1. I will find all the equipment shown on page two and put it together, as shown in the diagram above. ...read more.


I could have measured the substance produced using a gas syringe, which would have given a more accurate set of results, as hydrogen would not be lost. It is also possible to measure the apparent change in mass instead of measuring the substance produced. GAS SYRINGE Safety The safety is the same as in the pervious investigation. Equipment * 20cm3 syringe - to measure and inject the maximum of 20cm3of sulphuric acid into the test tube. * 10cm3 syringe - to collect the hydrogen so that it can be measured. * Conical flask - to the magnesium and sulphuric acid in. * 5 x sulphuric acid at different concentration -. To react with the magnesium to produce Epsom salts. * Stopwatch - to be able to accurately record the amount of hydrogen released every 30 seconds. * Safety goggles - to avoid sulphuric acid coming in contact with eyes. * Cork - to prevent hydrogen escaping. * Delivery tube - to direct hydrogen released. * Clamp and stands - to hold the measuring cylinder used to collect hydrogen. * Water - to show how much hydrogen has been produced. * Bowl - to hold the water so hydrogen can be collected in the measuring cylinder * Electrical balance - to weigh the magnesium for exact weight. * 0.5g of magnesium ribbon - to react with the sulphuric acid to form Epsom salts. * Thermometer - to make sure the temperature is always 25o C when carrying out the experiment. Diagram Method 1) Set up the experiment as shown in the diagram. Only start the experiment when the temperature is 25oC. Measure 0.5g of magnesium ribbon with an electric balance. 2) Fill the syringe with the amount of sulphuric acid required for the reactant concentration and make sure there is no air in the gas syringe. 3) Inject the sulphuric acid into the test tube and start the stopwatch. Record the volume of hydrogen collected from the gas syringe every 10seconds for 5 minutes onto an appropriate table. 4) Clean the conical flask. ...read more.

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