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Rates of Reaction Coursework - Epsom salts

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Rates of Reaction Coursework: Epsom salts Aim: To find to what extent certain factors speed up the rate of the first reaction involved with making 'Epsom Salts. There are four possible factors that could be used to increase the rate of this reaction involving Magnesium and Sulphuric acid to produce Epsom salts. Preliminary Research: Magnisium: Scientific definition and uses: Magnisium is a chemical element, one of the alkaline earth metals of the main group IIa of the periodic table, lightest structural metal. Known originally through compounds such as Epsom salts (sulphate), magnesia (the oxide) and magnesia Alba (the carbonate) the silvery white element itself does not occur in a pure form. It was isolated in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy, who evaporated mercury from a magnisium amalgam and made by electrolyzing. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earths crust (2.5%) distributed in minerals; sea water also contains 0.13% magnisium but mostly as dissolved chloride which gives the bitter taste of sea water. It is also found in body cells. Magnesium was originally commercially produced for photography flash ribbon and powder, incendiary bombs. Its light weight has made its use in the aerospace industry, but because of its weak structure it has been made into alloys, mostly with zinc and aluminum and manganese to improve its hardness,, tensile strength, resistance to se water corrosion, and ability to be cast, welded and machined. These alloys are used in parts of aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, machinery, automobiles, portable tools and house hold appliances. Sulphuric Acid: Scientific definition and uses: Sulfuric acid also called oil of vitriol, or hydrogen sulfate, is a dense colorless, oily corrosive liquid; one o the most important of al chemicals, prepared industrially by the reaction of water with sulfur trioxide. In various concentrations s the acid is used in the manufacture of fertilizers, pigments, dyes, drugs, explosives, detergents and inorganic salts and acid, as well as in petroleum refining metallurgic processes. ...read more.


Prediction: I predict that the higher the concentration of the sulphuric acid the more Hydrogen is released and so the faster the rate of reaction. Quantitative prediction: I predict that the following formula will apply to this experiment: Research: This section aims to provide a more detailed scientific theory, including analysis of the molecular scale concerning all aspects of this experiment. The theory shown here will mainly be used as proof that the prediction above is accurate, but it can also be referred to throughout the rest of the this write up to explain anomalies or points of interest. Magnesium + Sulphuric acid ==> Magnesium sulphate + Hydrogen Mg (s) + H2SO4 (aq) ==> MgSO4 (aq) + H2 (g) As you can see from the formula above, Hydrogen is released as a result of sulphuric acid and magnesium reacts to make magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts). The speed (or 'rate') at which this hydrogen is released determines the rate of the entire reaction. The fundamental question for this experiment is to discover whether increasing the surrounding concentration of the sulphuric acid speeds up the progression of the reaction. The way in which the four factors (shown in bold below) could affect the rate of reaction is described in basic here, along with an explanation of a molecular scale (shown in blue): 1. Temperature: * The sulphuric acid can be heated to a specific temperature before the magnesium is added; thus altering the rate of the reaction. * Different temperatures can be achieved using a Bunsen burner. * When a reaction has a higher temperature, the molecules within the reaction receive more energy. With more energy molecules move faster, and so the rate of the reaction between the molecules or two or more different substances increases. 2. Surface Area (of the magnesium): * Using various forms of magnesium can change its surface area. There are four typical forms of magnesium: 1. ...read more.


Diagram: The advantages for using this piece of equipment are: 1. The measurements are more accurate and than guesswork by eye. 2. Likely hood of it leakage or incorrect reading reduced. 3. Less equipment is used. (taking away the measuring cylinder with and the tub of water) I would also change the measurements of the chemicals to be moles so we can get accurate calculations and so we can tell if the experiment ran accurately by the amount of produce Hydrogen and MgSO4 are left at the end of the experiment. Revised Method and apparatus list: Apparatus: * Conical flask with side arm * Cork * Scales * Small measuring cylinder * Magnesium ribbon * Sulphuric acid * Two clamp stands * Stop watch * Gas syringe * Goggles Method: Set up apparatus as before BUT instead of preparing water with the upturned measuring cylinder, attach the gas syringe to the clamp stand and secure the end of the side arms delivery tube to it. Then continue the procedure as normal recording the results from the readings on the side of the gas syringe. Diagram: Conclusion: The experiment went well, at the end of the experiment, i am able to conclude that from the results given from the practical and from the research taken that my prediction is accurate. As the concentration of H2SO4 is increased so does the rate of reaction equally until either of the reactants are used up to the point that the concentration (of sulphuric acid) or the surface area (of the Magnisium because of the lack of molecules after most of them have reacted) . The conclusion states the facts originally shown in the prediction and those backed up in the observations in the scientific model after the experiment. The anomalies that occurred did not have any crucial bearing on the experiment as it does not require accuracy to a finite level as long as the results are moderately accurate I can come to a conclusion. 1 ...read more.

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