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Investigating the rate of reaction between Magnesium Ribbon and Hydrochloric Acid.

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Introduction

Investigating the rate of reaction between Magnesium Ribbon and Hydrochloric Acid. AIM: The aim of my project is to investigate the reaction between Magnesium Ribbon and 2M Hydrochloric Acid by measuring the rate of reaction as the concentration of the acid is varied. Magnesium is in the second group of the periodic table which means it is an alkaline earth metal with an atomic number of 12, that means that there are two spare electrons on the outer shell of the atom. This is why it's only fourth in the reactivity series because the three above it are in the first group and so only have one spare electron, where as magnesium has two spare electrons. The reaction between an acid and a metal can be shown as: Acid + Metal Metal Salt + Hydrogen Therefore I'd expect the reaction between Hydrochloric acid and Magnesium ribbon to react together as shown in the equation below: Hydrochloric acid + Magnesium Magnesium Chloride + Hydrogen 2HCl (aq) + Mg(s) MgCl2 (aq) + H2 (g) SCIENTIFIC THEORY: In my experiment in order that the magnesium and the Hydrochloric acid react together: * A Magnesium atom and an acid atom must collide with each other. * The collision between the two atoms must have enough energy. The minimum amount of energy needed for the reaction to occurs called the Activation Energy. This is also known as the collision theory. When there's a successful collision old bonds between the magnesium atoms are broken and then new bonds are formed which will be the magnesium chloride. If there are a lot of these collisions, then the reaction is going very quickly and so the rate of reaction is high, but if there are not very many collisions the rate of reaction is low. In other words the rate of reaction depends on how many successful collisions there are in a given unit of time. ...read more.

Middle

This causes them to move faster and to collide more often. Then also because they have taken in energy when they collide there is more chance of them colliding with enough energy to break the old bond, therefore there will be more successful collisions. * The use of a Catalyst. A catalyst is a chemical substance that speeds up a reaction, without actually being used up itself. It does this by lowering the amount of energy needed to break the old bonds. In other words a catalyst lowers the activation energy. It also provides a surface for the molecules to attach to, thereby increasing their chances of bumping into each other. In this experiment I won't actually be using a catalyst at any time. FAIR TESTING: When I'm carrying out the experiment it's vital that I keep all the conditions the same and make sure that everything I do it applied to all the experiments. If I do this then there will be no reason for the results to be anomalous or wrong, therefore this should produce very accurate results. The different things I will have to keep the same to keep it a fair test are: * Use the same apparatus every time, this is because different apparatus may have different volumes and so the results will be inaccurate. * Clean the apparatus after each experiment otherwise some acid may be left in the side arm flask and so the next solution will have ore acid and so will be more concentrated. * Put In the bung very quickly. The slower I put the bung in the more hydrogen is lost to the air. But if I push the bung in too hard lots of air is pushed through into the measuring cylinder at one go and so the results may be affected by this. * Cut the magnesium ribbon just before I actually need it this is because if it is left in the air too long then it will start to ...read more.

Conclusion

I'd use a thermometer and make sure that the acid was the same temperature each time I did the experiment. Also I could have done all the experiments in on day and so this would have limited the temperature range as the temperature can't fluctuate to a large degree all in one day. Apart from that looking at the tables of results they all look very accurate as there isn't too much variation in each run for the different concentrations. If I could do the experiment again I would have also liked to do five runs for each concentration. This would then mean that there was an even larger average, so that any anomalous results were averaged out amongst the other runs. Also I would have liked to have done a larger range of concentrations for example going up in 0.2 Molars from 0 to 3 Molars, this would give more graphs and so more chance to spot patterns. I would have like to use an electronic stirrer device. This would be more appropriate than me stirring it as I may stir it more or less for each of the other concentrations and so the test would be unfair. But I would have liked to use a stirrer because when I have the acid in the side arm flask if it has been concentrated then the distilled water may not be completely mixed with the acid and so some areas of the solution may be more diluted than others and so affecting the results. Also when the reaction was taking place the hydrogen that was being given off was sometimes sticking to the Magnesium ribbon, thus reducing the surface area of the ribbon. This would mean that there are less magnesium particles for the acid particles to collide and react with. Although there are a few things that I would have liked to have changed, there wasn't enough time to repeat the whole experiment again with the new improvements. But I think that the results are actually very accurate and very adequate for drawing up concise conclusions. Chemistry Coursework George Hiner 1 ...read more.

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