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"The Crumbling Taj".

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INTRODUCTION Why should this coursework be entitled "The Crumbling Taj"? The Taj Mahal is a famous beautiful building found near Delhi in India. It is made of marble, which is a polymorphic form of calcium carbonate. Unfortunately it is slowly being damaged by acidic rain. This occurs in two forms: * Natural carbonic acid formed when carbon dioxide dissolves in water. * Acid rain made of a mixture of sulphurous acid, sulphuric acid and nitric acid. These acids are formed from pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and from the discharged exhaust from road transport. Although hydrochloric acid is not one of these mentioned, it is convenient to use in this experiment, as it is available in our laboratory. The active ion, H3O+ in all acids is present in hydrochloric acid just as much as it is present in all the other acids mentioned. AIM The aim of my investigation is to design and carry out a series of experiments to discover how the speed of chemical reaction between calcium carbonate (marble) and acid can be altered. I will be looking at the following equation: CaCO3 + 2HCl --> CaCl2 + H2O + CO2 Calcium Carbonate (marble) + Hydrochloric Acid --> CalciumChloride + Water + Carbon Dioxide The aim for my investigation is to also find out the best conditions at which the reaction rate will be at its fastest. These conditions are factors that can normally affect reaction rate. They are the variables. Everyday we are concerned about how fast things happen. We want to know how fast we can get to school, how fast a car is travelling or how fast we can run a hundred metres. Chemists are particularly interested in how fast chemical reactions happen. They want to know how quickly steel rusts, how quickly food cooks, and how quickly stone buildings are weathered by acid rain. Different chemical reactions happen at different rates. ...read more.


Glass will be handled with care to prevent breakages and cuts. If any sort of accident occurs amends will be made with the help of trained technicians. Large volumes of acid will not be carried around to reduce the risk of a spillage. Containers will be kept well away from edges of the benches. Low molar concentration of hydrochloric acid will be used for safety. FAIR TEST To perform a fair test I will do as follows: In the experiment I will measure each substance accurately. I will carry out the experiment at the same room temperature of 20oc each time. I will wash the conical flask with distilled water after each experiment to make sure that there isn't any solution left over from the previous experiment. I will have to stay alert when counting bubbles and will have to concentrate hard. I will also repeat the test again and take the average of the two results to get an average set of results which will be more reliable. By following my fair testing the results will hopefully come out accurate. I will be alert and take the timings accurately for each of the experiments. METHOD FOR EXPERIMENT 1 - COUNTING BUBBLES This is how I will be carrying out my 1st experiment to find out the rate of reaction between marble and hydrochloric acid: When doing my experiments I will use the same procedure throughout. I will first get the necessary equipment that will be needed and will set it up as show below. I will then get 30ml of 0.1M hydrochloric acid and will put it into the conical flask. To make sure the volumes of acid and water were right we will measure the volumes of each in a measuring cylinder to be accurate. To make sure the mass of marble chips are right we would measure them on the electronic balance to one decimal place. ...read more.


It was clearly the best experiment to be carried out for this investigation out of the three. During the whole experiment, it has always been a fair test, which helped in getting good results. I generally enjoyed the experiment very much as it was carried out very successfully. The results from the experiment illustrated in the graph seem rather accurate. I am glad to say that the errors of the experiment were caused by limitations beyond my control and so I did not perform poorly. I ensured the test was as fair as I could possibly make it and conducted safely by demonstrating the statements in my plan. From this investigation I have learnt all about chemical reactions that include the way in which they can be altered to change their rate, the theory of kinetics and its connection to the rate of reactions. In this whole investigation I have used hydrochloric acid as an example of acid rain. The investigation it self began by speaking of the Taj Mahal being made of marble and the fact that it was wearing away due to the effect of acid rain. On analysis of rain it is unlikely that there would be a high concentration of Hydrochloric acid. Instead I would expect to find a mixture of carbonic acid from Carbon Dioxide, Sulphurous acid from Sulphur Dioxide, Nitric acid from Nitrogen Dioxide and possibly Sulphuric acid that may have been oxidised from Sulphurous acid. It would be interesting to extend this investigation by studying the effects of these individual acids on marble. I have read in a book entitled "A new chemistry" that Sulphuric cid would convert the surface of marble into calcium sulphate. This substance is used to make plaster of Paris and that has the effect of sealing up marble as it is almost insoluble in water. In other words it might be able to protect the marble of the Taj Mahal instead of eroding it. ...read more.

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