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The aim of this investigation is to try and find out the percentage of copper carbonate in malachite.

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Introduction

Aim: The aim of this investigation is to try and find out the percentage of copper carbonate in malachite. Research and my background knowledge about malachite and copper carbonate: Malachite is hydrous copper carbonate and is found in shades of green. Its hardness is about 3.5-4.0 and specific gravity is about 3.9-4.03. It is sometimes used as a valuable ornamental stone and is also a minor ore of copper. Malachite is a secondary copper mineral found in oxidised copper deposits. The massive, botryoidal, reniform, and stalactitic forms are dense intergrowths of tiny, fibrous needles. Such specimens are virtually always internally banded in different shades of green, and can be seen when a specimen is polished or cut open. These bands give much interest to this mineral as an ornament, owing to its popularity. Malachite is generally found with blue Azurite, and sometimes the two may occur admixed or banded together, forming what is commonly known in the gem and mineral trade as "Azure-malachite". Hypothesis: I predict that there should be about 60-70% copper in malachite. I know this because of the sample results given to me for about 2-3 grams of malachite. Other 30-40% of malachite would be carbon di oxide and some impurities. ...read more.

Middle

Method: 1. Collect the apparatus (as mentioned earlier) and set it up as in the diagram below: 2. Weight the crucible dish using a top-pan balance. Put about 2g of malachite in it and weigh it again to make sure of the total weight of the crucible dish with the malachite in it. 3. Remove the top cover of the tripod stand and put a pipe-clay triangle on it and put the crucible dish on it and heat it using bunsen burner on the heat proof mat. 4. Heat the crucible dish until all the malachite in it has decomposed. (that will take about 3-4 minutes) 5. Use the tongs to lift the crucible dish and weigh it again using top-pan balance. 6. Calculate the amount of the copper carbonate produced. 7. Repeat the experiments twice to check the results and work out the average. Results: Weight of crucible dish Weight of crucible + malachite Weight of malachite Weight after heating Weight of residue 18.29 g 20.29 g 2 g 19.84 g 1.55 g 18.29 g 20.29 g 2 g 19.84 g 1.55 g 17.88 g 19.88 g 2 g 19.44 g 1.56 g Observations during the practical: I noticed that the malachite powder in the crucible was bubbling when it was being heated and the malachite on the side started to turn black first and then the malachite in the middle turned black. ...read more.

Conclusion

For the first 2 experiments the amount of carbon di oxide produced was about 0.45g, the amount of copper carbonate was about 1.27g and the rest 0.28g were impurities found in malachite. Evaluation: I think that my method of doing the experiment was good and was quite safe too. As I mentioned in 'Analysing Evidence' section that 2 of my results were exactly the same but the third was bit different. It was different because the crucible dish I was dish broke just before the third experiment and the new crucible dish wasn't as clean as the old one and that might have affected the results a bit. Both the crucibles were also different in weight. I think that my results are pretty accurate but I think that they could've been more accurate if I had used the top-pan balance that gives the reading upto 5 decimal places rather than the one I used which only gives the reading upto 2 decimal places. It would've been better if I had used the malachite in the rock form rather than using it in the powder form. I could also time my experiments to get a better set of results. As an extension I could go on and try to get pure copper from copper carbonate produced from malachite. ...read more.

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