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# To investigate the effect of the concentration of nitric acid on the rate of reaction between the nitric acid and magnesium granules.

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Introduction

FACTORS AFFECTING RATES OF REACTION AIM: To investigate the effect of the concentration of nitric acid on the rate of reaction between the nitric acid and magnesium granules BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE: The equation for this reaction is: Word: Magnesium + Nitric acid Magnesium Nitrate + Hydrogen Gas Balanced Equation: The products of the reaction between nitric acid and magnesium are magnesium nitrate, water and hydrogen gas. In my main investigation, I will measure the rate of reaction by calculating the volume of hydrogen gas produced, using a gas syringe, over a certain time period. I will then plot a graph of gas produced against time for all of the different concentrations of nitric acid. Having plotted gas produced against time for each concentration, I will then take a tangent of the line produced by each concentration graph and calculate the rate of reaction for each concentration. The rate of reaction will be calculated as follows: Rate of reaction = volume of gas produced/time (cm�/second) Having done that, I will plot a graph of rate of the reaction for each concentration against concentration, and then state what type of relationship there is between the concentration of acid and the rate of reaction. I will then be able to conclude and state from my results what type of relationship my results show as explained on the following page. I will then analyse and evaluate the data to conclude whether concentration affects the rate of a reaction and how. Relationships: Where 'A' and 'B' are two reactants which react to produce 'C' (A+B --> C): Type of Relationship Characteristic Graph Shape Explanation Zero Order In a zero order relationship, if one was to double the concentration of 'A' and keep 'B' constant, there would be no change to the rate of reaction. Therefore, the graph of rate (y) against concentration (x) would produce a flat line 1st Order In a 1st order relationship, if one was to double the concentration of 'A' and keep 'B' constant, then the rate of reaction would also double. ...read more.

Middle

Another thing I noted was that the reaction had also generated a lot of heat energy. This also caused disruption and unreliability to any potential results because the temperature is also a variable which affects the rate of reaction and needs to be kept constant because it is not being investigated. I decided that I would need to reduce the amount of magnesium used considerably in order for the reaction to occur at a pace which was suitable enough for me to obtain and record reliable results and be able to draw conclusions from them. I therefore changed the method for my main investigation. If I had had more time, I would have conducted a second preliminary investigation to make sure that the changes would be adequate before then conducting my main investigation This concluded my preliminary investigation. I decided that I had enough knowledge to pursue my main investigation. I opted to keep the same method, the only alteration being to broaden the scale of results by recording results at 5 second intervals rather than 10 second intervals. MAIN INVESTIGATION AIM: To investigate the effect of concentration on the rate of the reaction in the following reaction: Magnesium + Nitric acid Magnesium Nitrate + Hydrogen Gas APPARATUS: * Magnesium Granules (0.3 grams) * Nitric Acid (50cm�) [see method for more details] * Conical Flask * Measuring Cylinder * Retort stand and clamp * Gas Syringe * Stopwatch / timer * Top-pan balance / scales METHOD: 1. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram. 2. Carefully measure 0.3 grams of magnesium granules using a top-pan balance. 3. Carefully measure out 50cm� of acid solution using a measuring cylinder. The acid should be diluted with water to form a final 50cm� solution at the correct concentration. (See conversion table) 4. Place the magnesium granules into the conical flask, making sure each time that the granules go to the bottom of the conical flask without any becoming stuck to the sides so that the surface area remains constant. ...read more.

Conclusion

A slight modification to the apparatus would help to correct this problem: The apparatus could be set up as shown in the diagram on the next page: By adding an extra syringe, the nitric acid can be measured out accurately and administered when ready, without any gas escaping from the conical flask. Therefore, the results obtained are more reliable and the likelihood of anomalous results is reduced. There are other improvements which I could make to my method to make my results more reliable in a future investigation. For similar future investigations, I would adapt the suggested improvements into my method where possible, to ensure that I have more reliable results and that I can reach fairer and more valid conclusions. However, I believe that, with the apparatus and conditions which I had available to me the investigation was conducted as fairly and sincerely as possible. With more advanced apparatus, the results of the experiment could have been even more reliable and I will take note of this for future reference. DEVELOPING THE INVESTIGATION: This investigation is fairly flexible in the sense that there are a few other variables which could be investigated and the experiment can be easily modified to accommodate this. For example, the apparatus could be modified to investigate: * The effect of temperature - by using a thermostatically water bath and changing the temperature at which the reaction takes place to investigate the effect of temperature on the rate of reaction. * The effect of a catalyst - bye introducing a catalyst to the reaction to see what effect this has on the rate of reaction. A catalyst gives particles a surface to stick to, thus promoting more effective collisions. * The effect of surface area - by changing the surface area of the magnesium e.g. using magnesium strips as an alternative to granules and seeing the effect that this has on the rate of reaction. A larger surface area will give reactant particles a bigger area to collide with, therefore promoting more effective collisions and increasing the rate of reaction. Chukwuweta Ikeh GCSE CHEMISTRY COURSEWORK 1 ...read more.

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