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Investigating the temperature change in the reaction between powdered zinc and copper sulphate.

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Chemistry Coursework Investigating the temperature change in the reaction between powdered zinc and copper sulphate The Reactivity Series Through doing experiments involving water, air and acid, scientists have been able to place metals in a Reactivity Series. The Series is shown below: Potassium Sodium Calcium Magnesium Aluminium (carbon) Zinc Iron Lead (hydrogen) Copper Silver Gold Platinum The Displacement Reaction Metals can displace other metals from their salts. A metal, which is higher in the Reactivity Series, will displace a metal, which is lower in the Series from a salt. As zinc is higher in the Reactivity Series I predict that it will displace copper from it's salt. Transition Metals Zinc and copper are both transition metals and so are found between groups 2 and 3 of the Periodic Table. Transition metals have high melting points, high densities and colourful compounds. Copper (II) sulphate forms a blue compound. Transition metals and their ions are often used as catalysts. Vanadium (v) oxide is used as a catalyst in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Redox Reactions Oxidation is the gain of oxygen or the loss of hydrogen or the loss of electrons. Reduction is the loss of oxygen or the gain of hydrogen or the gain of electrons. Since oxidation never occurs without reduction, we call these reactions redox reactions. The copper gains electrons - this is reduction. The zinc loses electrons - this is oxidation. Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions An exothermic reaction is one which gives out energy to the surroundings, usually in the form of heat and usually shown by a rise in temperature. ...read more.


...therefore mass = amount x Mr = 0.02 x 65 = 1.3g Thus 1.3g of zinc should give me the highest change in temperature. As I am not using exactly 1.3g of zinc I predict that either 1.25g or 1.5g of zinc will show the highest change in temperature. Practical - Obtaining my evidence Apparatus: powdered zinc, copper sulphate solution, beaker, measuring cylinder, pipette, balance, 5 evaporating dishes, thermometer, polystyrene cup and lid, stop clock. Method: I measured out amounts of 0.5g, 1.0g, 1.25g, 1.5g and 1.75g of the powdered zinc separately, using the balance to ensure accuracy. I put the amounts into the evaporating dishes. Using the measuring cylinder and a pipette, I then put 40cm� of copper sulphate solution into the polystyrene cup, which I placed into a beaker for stability. I then added an amount of zinc, placed the lid and thermometer onto the cup and took the temperature of the solution. After a minute I took the temperature again. I repeated this process for each amount of zinc powder. I completed my experiment three times to each amount of zinc powder. I did it three times to establish an average change in temperature for the different amounts of zinc used. Results: Experiment 1: Amount of Zinc (grams) Start Temperature (�C) Temperature after 1minute (�C) Change in Temperature (�C) 0.5 17 18 1 1.0 17 19 2 1.25 18 21 3 1.5 18 21.5 3.5 1.75 17 20.5 3.5 Experiment 2: Amount of Zinc (grams) ...read more.


I have successfully proved that the reaction between powdered zinc and copper sulphate is exothermic as I recognised a rise in temperature in all my experiments. I have also shown that the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate is a redox reaction (see my plan). Evaluation The anomalies in my results prove that there were points during my investigations where my accuracy left a little to be desired. An inaccuracy occurred in my time keeping, as there was often a small difference in when I began timing e.g. when I added the zinc or when I secured the lid on top of the polystyrene cup. Overall even though my experiment was open to some inaccuracies I believe it was accurate enough to support my predictions. To improve my results I would increase the period of timing from 1minute to 5minutes so that the temperature could be allowed to rise more. I would extend my investigations into the reaction between zinc and copper sulphate by using a finer powder of zinc, which would give it a larger surface area, to see if this would cause the temperature to rise more rapidly. I would also like to complete the experiments using better equipment to prevent heat loss to the surroundings, to see if it has an effect on my results and thus, my conclusion. I would have liked to use better equipment in my practical but they were not available. If I had more time I could use different metals and different solutions to further test the displacement rule e.g. the reaction between magnesium and zinc sulphate. Sources: G.C.S.E Chemistry Revision Guide - Richard Parsons ...read more.

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