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Investigate one of the factors that effects the rate of reaction between Magnesium and Hydrochloric Acid.

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Introduction

Chemistry Coursework - GCSE Assessment Question: Investigate one of the factors that effects the rate of reaction between Magnesium and Hydrochloric Acid. Planning In this piece of course work, I will be testing the reaction times of Magnesium in Hydrochloric Acid. I have a wide range of different experiments, and variables which I could choose from. These are: * Temperature of Hydrochloric Acid, * Volume of Hydrochloric Acid, * Concentration of Hydrochloric Acid, * Mass of Magnesium, * Surface area of Magnesium, and * If there is a presence of a catalyst. From these variable, I have decided to choose 'Concentration of Hydrochloric Acid'. This set of experiments can be achieved using the equipment I have available to me, and it should give me a clear indication of the different reaction times. I have decided not to do the other variables, for the following reasons: * It would be too difficult to keep the temperature constant with the equipment available to me. To do this I would have needed to use a constant temperature water bath or some similar equipment. * Changing the volume of hydrochloric acid could have been achieved, even using the limited equipment I had available, but I considered that changing the concentration would produce a more in-depth analysis of the way the reaction takes place; * Changing the mass of the magnesium, could also have been achieved, but this would lead to changing the surface area too. This would have made the experiment unfair. * Changing the surface area of the magnesium would also have been too difficult for me to do, using the equipment available to me. This is because we give the magnesium in strips, and so changing the surface area would also change the mass, or be difficult to measure using the equipment, and so change more than one variable, and therefore make my experiment unfair. ...read more.

Middle

I will measure the amounts in separate measuring cylinders, which should produce a suitable level of accuracy This should produce 0.5M Hydrochloric Acid. 3. I will make sure that the temperature of the acid is approximately 24oC, by placing the thermometer in to the acid, where I will leave it until the end of the experiment, so that I can record the end temperature. 4. Next, I will clear any time from the stop watch's memory, and pick up one of the 2cm strips of magnesium. 5. Finally, I will drop the magnesium in to the 0.5M Hydrochloric Acid, and as soon as it touches the acid, I will start the stop watch. Once all of the Magnesium has gone/reacted, I will record the time in the table below. I will also take the final temperature, and write it down in the same table of results. 6. I will then rinse out the boiling tube and dry it, and repeat the experiment another three times, using the same boiling tube, and the same concentration. This is so that the different concentrations can be kept in different boiling tubes. After each experiment, I will right down the times, and the final temperatures. 7. Once I have the times for this concentration, I will then go on to using the next concentration ( See above for details on how to make the different concentrations ). I will carry out all of the experiments the same way, only changing the concentration, and the boiling tubes after I have carried out that experiment four times. After each experiment, I will right down the final time and temperature in the table of results. I will start doing the experiments with the lowest concentration first, and one I have repeated them four times, then I will go on to the next higher concentration. This will produce a systematic set of results, and show that the way I will carry out my experiments will be very accurate, and reliable. ...read more.

Conclusion

The method I used to carry out the experiments was a good one, as it was safe, accurate and reliable. The concentrations of the solutions were neither too strong nor too weak. The volumes of materials were not too big or too small to be safe to work with. However the actual volumes of chemicals used were small, which may have caused the results to be less accurate than I believed them to be. The times taken were not too short or too long for the experiments to be carried out during a normal practical period. The experiments could have been improved by using more accurate equipment, but this was not available to me. This could have been by using burettes to measure the liquids; a digital scale for measuring the mass of the magnesium; a sensor to measure when the magnesium had reacted; electrical stopwatches to measure time, and electrical thermometers to measure the beginning and end temperatures. I didn't have any of this equipment available to me, so I couldn't use it, but if I did this experiment again, I would try and make sure I used the better equipment I described above. From the final set of results I used, and the graph I produced, I think that my experiments were reliable. I therefore consider that my experiments proved that my predictions were generally correct, and that I can draw firm conclusions from them. I also think that my predictions will hold for experiments outside the range that I evaluated, but that there may be limits at which errors are introduced. As an extension to this piece of work I think that it would be useful to carry out the same experiment using a far wider range of strengths of the Hydrochloric Acid solution. This would prove whether the same effects are found outside my tested range, or whether there is a point at which the experimental results break down because the solution is either too strong or too weak to produce meaningful results. By Andrew McLennan 11 B 07 / 02 / 2000 ...read more.

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