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Investigation into the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid.

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Introduction

Investigation into the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid What is a rate? Rate is a measure of a change that happens in a single unit of time. Any suitable unit can be used-a second, minute, hour or even a day. The rate of a chemical reaction is a measure of how fast the reaction takes place. A rapid reaction can be completed in a short period of time. Some reactions are very fast, e.g. (the formation of silver chloride precipitate when silver nitrate and hydrochloric acid solutions are mixed and some can be very slow, e.g. (the rusting of iron). Aim The aim of this investigation is to find out the effect of concentration of acid, in the reaction between dilute hydrochloric acid and magnesium ribbon. In this investigation we will test different concentrations of acid reacting with magnesium to see what effect it has on the rate of reaction, this will be a moderate speed reaction. Background to investigation Before we started the main experiment there were a few things we had to sort out:- 1) How much magnesium do we use? 2) How much acid at full concentration should we use? 3) How will we record the data? 4) What experimental method do we use? So we set up our experiment as explained later using the cylinder placed in the ice cream tub full of water because we thought it would give the most accurate results out of the two methods available. ...read more.

Middle

Background to investigation Before we started the main experiment there were a few things we had to sort out:- 1) How much magnesium do we use? 2) How much acid at full concentration should we use? 3) How will we record the data? 4) What experimental method do we use? So we set up our experiment as explained later using the cylinder placed in the ice cream tub full of water because we thought it would give the most accurate results out of the two methods available. We found it to be best to use 2cm of magnesium strip because any more magnesium could be dangerous as it could react violently so we decided to use 2cm as it seemed the safest. We also found it to be best to use 50ml of hydrochloric acid at full concentration because again for safety reasons as too much could cause the magnesium to react violently and also because we are measuring concentration not surface area so we don't want to use too much acid. We found we would record the data by timing how long it takes for 10ml of hydrogen to be released, starting the stop watch when the magnesium has been placed into the beaker with acid then stopping when the amount of hydrogen released reached the 10ml mark. We found that 10ml was best because otherwise we could be waiting for a long time if we changed the limit to something like 20ml and we didn't have much time. ...read more.

Conclusion

To improve this investigation I would:- 1)Replace our beaker in the water with a syringe which would collect the hydrogen gas which solve the turning the beaker upside down problem and would also give more accurate results as it would also be easier to read when 10ml of hydrogen had been released and its more user friendly than the quite fiddly method we used. 2)Use larger concentrations of acid would give a bigger more accurate conclusion instead of just using 50ml of solution use 200ml, this way graphs would be more spaced out and give an accurate form or curve. 3) I would use a data-logging computer to collect the results because there'd be no human error, I wouldn't have to be present to record the results, and the results would be extremely accurate. Alternative method An alternative way of carrying out this investigation would be to use the gas syringe as explained above or use a mass balance. You'd set the apparatus up so that the hydrogen gas given off would be collected in a beaker on a mass balance, all you would do is time how long it takes for 10ml of hydrogen to be given off from the reactants by just looking at the display on the front. The advantages are that you're results are going to be a lot more accurate because the mass balance can measure how much gas EXACTLY is in the beaker and so you don't run the risk of human error. ...read more.

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