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Investigating the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate

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GCSE Chemistry Coursework Investigating the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate Aims To investigate the affect of varying the amounts of zinc in the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate has on the rate of reaction. Background Knowledge My experiment is based on the theory of: 'A more reactive metal can displace a less reactive metal from a compound' For example; Iron + Copper Sulphate ---> Iron Sulphate + Copper Fe(s) + CuSO4(aq) ---> FeSO4(aq) + Cu(s) This type of reaction is known as a single displacement. This is when one element trades places with another element in a compound. These reactions come in the general form of: A + BC ---> AC + B The reaction that I will be looking at is zinc-replacing copper. This happens, as zinc is higher in the reactivity series than copper. The equation is shown below: Zn(s) + CuSO4(aq) � ZnSO4(aq) + Cu(s) An important aspect of these experiments is that they are exothermic. An exothermic reaction gives out heat as a source of energy. A reaction that is exothermic uses less energy to break the old bonds than is emitted to create the new bonds therefore heat is given off. ...read more.


It is important to note that the starting temperature of each experiment will be 25oC. I will record the temperature change in five-second intervals from zero to seventy. I have to make sure that the zinc used is definitely powdered zinc as any strips or lumps of zinc would alter the rate of reaction due the surface area. I will record my results in a table and then convert the data onto a graph. I will do this by plotting temperature against time. By drawing a line of best fit we can interpret the rates of reactions by calculating the gradient. I will repeat my experiment to ensure accurate and fair results. 1. Measure out 25cm3 of 0.5M copper sulphate solution using the measuring cylinder 2. Pour the copper sulphate into the polystyrene cup 3. Put the thermometer in and wait until the temperature reaches 25oC 4. Using the weighing scales, measure out 0.41, 0.51, 0.61, 0.71, 0.81, 0.91, 1.01, 1.11 grams of zinc. 5. Add the zinc, simultaneously start the timer and put the plastic lid on immediately. 6. Stir the solution using the thermometer as a rod. 7. Record the temperatures at five-second intervals. 8. Repeat experiment for accurate results. ...read more.


I could improve my results to my experiment if: More repetitions of the experiment were done. This would provide more results and add to the evidence for the experiment and also increase accuracy. The experiment was tried with different metals, ones that are at different levels in the reactivity series. This would be done to see how the use of different reactions change the temperature and energy changes and if the theory still works with different metals. Also, using salts with a metal lower in the reactivity series than the base can show whether distance in the reactivity series affects the energy change. Different concentrations of the copper sulphate were used. This can also show the difference between the temperature and energy changes. Data logging could be used so that there is now chance in human error in the experiment. Results Repeats in bold Amounts of Zinc (g) Starting Temperature (oC) End Temperature (oC) Temperature Change (oC) Average Temperature Change 0.41 0.41 25 33 8 9 25 35 10 0.51 0.51 25 36 11 12 25 38 13 0.61 0.61 25 39 14 14 25 39 14 0.71 0.71 25 46 21 20 25 44 19 0.81 0.81 25 45 20 21 25 47 22 0.91 0.91 25 43 18 19 25 45 20 1.01 1.01 25 47 22 22 25 47 22 1.11 1.11 25 25 46 45 21 20 20.5 ...read more.

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