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I am trying to find out what factors influence the energy change when metals are added to a metal salt solution.

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Chemistry Coursework.

What Factors Influence the Energy Change When Metals Are Added to a Metal Salt Solution.

Skill P   Planning Experimental Procedures.


I am trying to find out what factors influence the energy change when metals are added to a metal salt solution.


The energy released when one metal displaces another can be used in industry, for example in the reaction of aluminium with iron oxide to weld rails together. Your task is to devise a plan to show how the temperature rise, and hence the energy change, is affected by adding different metals to copper sulphate solution. A suitable metal would be iron, which reacts according to the equation



Prediction Graph.image01.png

I predict that when we put a metal from the reactivity series, the higher it will be, the larger amount of energy will be given off. If the metal is very reactive, eg: magnesium, the temperature will rise more than zinc because the further away the electrons are from the nucleus and therefore the more reactive the metal is because the more unstable the metal is and it will give off more electrons more easily and therefore release more energy.

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Secondly, I am going to find the mass of the each metal used and to do so, I am going to use the following formula:

( Mass of the metal = moles  molar mass of metal )

  1. Then, when I got the masses of the metals, I measured them on    electronic scales.
  2. After I got the needed masses of the metals, I got the measuring cylinder and added 25 cm3 of Copper Sulphate.
  3. I chose to start the experiment with the more reactive metals such as magnesium and move towards the least ones.
  4. I got the polystyrene cup and filled it up with 25c3 of Copper Sulphate and added the metal powder to it. If it was a reactive metal, then, the reaction would take place straight away, and the sign of it being reacted is not often clear, but in magnesium’s case, the bubbles occurred which indicated that the reaction is taking place.
  5. After I dropped the metal powder in, I started stirring it with a thermometer and measuring the temperature, I continued doing that until the temperature stops rising.
  6. Then, I recorded the result I got, and did the same with the same metal three times to make my results more accurate.
...read more.


3, but often it was impossible to gain exactly 25cm3, as the means of measuring out the copper sulphate solution was not very accurate. Energy was also lost through the lack of a lid being present, which meant delta energy would have been lost, that should have been included in our readings. The temperature readings, weren’t exactly accurate. They were accurate enough, but give the opportunity again, I would have used a much more accurate level, meaning that I would have used other techniques trying to avoid the change in any of the control variables and this would have made our results much more accurate as a consequence. As it happened, these factors didn’t effect our results, as they were kept constant at the levels that we set down before the experiment all the way through. It was consequently possible to draw firm conclusions from our results, as  they matched our prediction, that when the higher the metal in the reactivity series is, the more energy will be released when reacted with copper sulphate solution.

...read more.

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