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# The decomposition of copper carbonate - proving one of two equationsAim

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Introduction

The decomposition of copper carbonate - proving one of two equations Aim Copper has two oxides, Cu2O, and CuO. Copper carbonate, CuCO3 decomposes on heating to form one of these oxides and an equation can be written for each possible reaction Equation 1: 2CuCO3 (s) Cu2O (s) + 2CO2 (g) + 1/2O2 (g) Equation 2: CuCO3 (s) CuO (s) + CO2 (g) The aim of this investigation is to prove which of these two equations is correct. From the equations above we can see that in both reactions gas is evolved and by collecting the volume of gas produced we can accurately say which reaction is taking place. To find which equation is correct, we can use ideas about the mole and the volume one mole of gas occupies at standard conditions. Background Information Basic copper carbonate occurs in nature as the mineral malachite (CuCO3) it can be synthesised in the laboratory regardless of its source; basic copper carbonate has the same composition (CuCO3). Copper carbonate is a green powder. When heated it decomposes to give a black colour of copper oxide and the reaction releases carbon dioxide. When it is heated, CuCO3 splits up or decomposes. When one substance splits up into two or more on heating, this is called "thermal decomposition". The carbon dioxide gas formed is lost to the air or collected, so the copper carbonate loses mass the copper oxide formed weighs less than the copper carbonate. ...read more.

Middle

Action What to do Copper oxide and copper carbonate If swallowed Wash out of the mouth and give a glass or two of water. Seek medical attention If dust inhaled Remove the victim to fresh air to rest. Seek medical attention if breathing difficult If dust or solution gets in eyes Flood the eye with gently running tap water for 10 minutes. Seek medical attention If spilt on skin or clothes Remove contaminated clothing. Wash affected area thoroughly If spilt in laboratory Wear eye protection Scoop up as much solid as possible without raising too much dust Wipe the area repeatedly with damp cloth until solid is removed. Carbon Dioxide If large quantities of gas are breathed Remove the victim to fresh air as quickly as possible If solid or freezing mixture gets in eyes Flood the eye with gently running tap water for 10 minutes. Seek medical attention If spilt on skin or clothes Brush off the solid quickly and immerse the affected are ain water as soon as possible If any burning has occurred, seek medical advice If solid spilt in laboratory Ventilate the area and leave the solid to evaporate Oxygen If gas is directed over a person All sources of ignition should be extinguished The person should go outside for several minutes so that the gas can diffuse safely from the clothing. Diagram of apparatus Apparatus - Top pan balance - The top pan balance is accurate to 0.005g. ...read more.

Conclusion

7. Take the final reading from the gas burette, and calculate the total volume of gas given off. 8. Repeat this procedure three times using a different boiling tube each time as well as resetting the gas syringe. Doing this will enable me to take and average of all replicates and therefore discount any anomalous results and thus improve the reliability of my results. 9. Work out an average figure of gas given off from the 5 experiments 10. From this it should be possible to calculate which equation is correct by the amount of gas produced There are certain conditions that must remain constant for the experiment to be fair. These are represented in the table below: Conclusion: When an average has been obtained we should be able to see which of the equations is correct. If the amount of gas released is approximately 40cm3 as predicted for equation 1, this would indicate that equation 1 is correct. If the average is lower (by approximately half the volume produce by equation 1, i.e. 18.5cm3) this would indicate that less gas has been produced, and thus suggest equation 2 is correct. The most probable equation to be proved correct is equation 2 because as Oxygen is needed for the reaction and the products are oxides, Oxygen cannot itself be released during combustion reactions, as indicated in the 'Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry'. Oxygen cannot be produced as a product, therefore we can disprove equation 1. ?? ?? ?? ?? Emily Capes ...read more.

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