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Investigating the energy change when zinc reacts with copper(II) sulphate.

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Introduction

Investigating the energy change when zinc reacts with copper(II) sulphate. Planning. Aim. My aim is to see what happens to the temperature that the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate releases when we change the amount of zinc while keeping the amount of copper sulphate constant. Introduction. During the course of this experiment, I will be investigating to see what happens when I react some zinc with copper sulphate solution. I will be looking for an energy change during this reaction. The reason I am looking for an energy change is because I want to determine whether this reaction is an exothermic or an endothermic reaction. An exothermic reaction is a reaction that uses a small amount of energy (normally the energy supply is heat) to break bonds within molecules. The heat, transfers energy into the electrons making them vibrate more. When the electrons are vibrating more, the ions within the solution successfully collide with the electrons therefore knocking them out of the outer shell this is known as bond breaking. When the bonds are breaking, a large amount of energy is released. This energy can then be used industrially i.e. to run machinery and car motors. Evidence of an exothermic reaction is a warm test tube. An endothermic reaction is a reaction that requires a lot of energy to make bonds between two atoms. These bonds can either be covalent or ionic depending on what two non-metals or metal and non- metals are reacting. ...read more.

Middle

Mass(g) Energy/mole. 0.10 522.50 0.20 1201.75 0.30 1219.17 0.40 1828.75 0.50 1672.00 Please see graphs. Analysis. When we were carrying out the experiment, I did not see a physical a reaction between the zinc and copper sulphate solution. When we added the small amount of zinc into 25ml of CuSO4, the blue coloured solution turned black in colour. I also expected the test tube to be warm during the reaction because this reaction is exothermic meaning energy is given out, but the energy given out was only enough to be recorded by the thermometer. The energy change on the thermometer was positive as shown in my results table therefore we know the reaction was exothermic. In order for me to find the energy change within each reaction, I used the formula MC T. this stands for: M= mass of zinc C= constant specific heat capacity of water 4.18 T= temperature rise. I have plotted two graphs, one of them was temperature rise against mass of zinc. From this graph I can see that there is a direct relationship between mass of zinc and the amount of energy released when you react the zinc with CuSO4. I can tell this from the straight line graph that I obtained with the line going through the origin. From my graph, I could pick out a few trends between mass of zinc and temp. rise: When mass of zinc is 0.2g, temp rise is 3.1 degrees celsius. ...read more.

Conclusion

* When I was adding the CuSO4, I found that it was very difficult to get all the zinc in the polystyrene cup containing the CuSO4. Because of the little amount I was using, when trying to add 0.1g of zinc to the acid we will only actually end up with about 0.075 reacting. The measures that I took to make sure that I obtained as accurate results as possible, were I used a polystyrene cup to react the zinc with the solution. This was because the polystyrene cup will insulate heat therefore heat will not be lost to the external environment, instead it is recorded on the thermometer which is what I wanted. When weighing the zinc, I again used a polystyrene container that was weightless therefore I will get the accurate proportion of zinc I required. * In order to improve my results if I was to repeat this experiment, I would: keep the mass of zinc constant at 0.5g and change the amount of copper sulphate used because that way weighing out the zinc will be more accurate. * An alternative is to use 5g of zinc although this is not practical due to environmental issues. * My experiment could have been repeated a number of times more but the time allocated did not allow me to do this. Although I did not get a perfect graph with my line going through all my points, I feel that my graph was as accurate as I could get it, and it also accurate enough to quote my prediction. ...read more.

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