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Investigating displacement reactions to find out the order of reactivity of some metals.

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Aim Investigating displacement reactions to find out the order of reactivity of some metals. I will find this out by comparing temperature rise caused by different metals during displacement reactions in a salt solution. Prediction I predict that the reactivity series for these three metals (Zinc, Magnesium, Iron) will look like this: Magnesium Zinc Iron I also think the following: Magnesium will have the most vigorous reaction and the temperature change for this metal will be the most. Zinc will have a vigorous reaction with the solution but it will not be as vigorous as the reaction Magnesium will have. Iron will have the least vigorous reaction, as it is closest to Copper in the reactivity series (when compared with Zinc and Magnesium). Therefore the displacement reaction will occur between Iron and the Copper Sulphate solution but it will not be as significant as the displacement reaction Zinc and Magnesium will have with the Copper Sulphate solution. I believe that the most energy will be released by Magnesium. Magnesium as you can see by the use of the reactivity series is above the other metals I am investigating (Zinc and Iron), meaning it has the ability to loose it's electrons most easily and displace the copper from the solution and make it a pure metal. The equation for this will be: Mg + CuSO4 MgSO4 + Cu I also believe that the reactions will decrease in energy loss as the metal in the reactivity series goes down. Background Information To be able to produce our reactivity series, we must make use of the fact that a more reactive metal will displace a less reactive metal from its salt solution. ...read more.


MAGNESIUM ZINC IRON 0.02 x 24 = 0.48g 0.02 x 65 = 1.3g 0.02 x 56 = 1.12g To make sure that all the copper gets displaced I will use 10% excess. Therefore I will use the following amounts of metals: MAGNESIUM = 0.53g ZINC = 1.43g IRON = 1.23g There are other factors we must take into consideration when we do our investigation. For instance, temperature. The temperature of the room in which we do the investigation must remain constant. This does not appear to be much of a problem as the temperature of the lab is controlled by the air conditioner. So we can be assured that temperature of the room will not be an issue. Another issue is the temperature of the copper sulphate solution. This too, will not be an issue, because the Copper Sulphate Solution is left out in the lab, and so will have the same temperature as the room, whose temperature is controlled by the air conditioner. Another precaution we will have to take is with the container we do the reactions in. We will ensure that before we repeat each test, we will wash out the container. One other precaution I must take is to make sure that all the heat is kept in the container. There is no point in doing the test if what I want to measure (heat or temperature rise) just dissipates. As a precaution against this I have decided to use expanded polystyrene cups with lids. This is because expanded polystyrene cups are very good insulators and are excellent at keeping heat in. ...read more.


Look below to see a bar chart showing the energy exchanged between the three metals reactants and surroundings: On the next page you will see a line graph showing the energy exchanged between the three metals reactants and surroundings. Evaluation In my experiment I encountered no problems. Even though I checked my results by repeating my results three times I still think that I should have repeated the experiments at least six times to get a better average. I obtained similar results when I repeated them, this in my opinion confirms that my results are reliable. If I were to repeat the whole experiment, in the light of my experience, I would try to improve it by maybe measuring the volumes of liquids more accurately by using a pipette, burette or syringe instead of a measuring cylinder and by using other metals e.g. Aluminium and Lead. I hope that if I received the chance to improve my experiment I would be able to provide additional evidence for the conclusion. Another way of finding what I found could have been done by measuring the Copper deposited, therefore if I were to do the experiment again I will measure the temperature change and the amount of Copper deposited and I would hope that this would give me a more firm conclusion. I also think that my results were reliable, as I got no anomalous results. I think my procedure was suitable as I did receive reliable results. My evidence was also sufficient enough to support a firm conclusion, my conclusion was that the higher the metal in the reactivity series the higher the temperature change will be when the metal is immersed into a salt solution such as Copper Sulphate. ...read more.

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