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To monitor the quantity of copper metal deposited during electrolysis of copper sulphate solution.

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Introduction

Aim: To monitor the quantity of copper metal deposited during electrolysis of copper sulphate solution. Introduction: When a solution of copper sulphate is electrolysed using carbon or platinum electrodes, copper is obtained at the cathode and oxygen at the anode. On the other hand when copper electrodes are used instead, something unusual happens. At the cathode: Copper ions become atoms, as you would expect: ( Cu2+ ) + ( 2e- ) ==> Cu The copper atoms cling to the cathode. At the anode: The copper anode dissolves, forming copper ions: Cu ==> ( Cu2+ ) + ( 2e- ) So the anode wears away, while the cathode grows thicker. If you weigh them you will find that: Mass of copper lost by anode = Mass of copper gained by cathode. This electrolysis is used in industry to purify copper, which has to be very pure for use in electrical wires. The impure copper is made into an anode. As it wears away, the cathode gets plated with pure copper while impurities fall to the bottom of the electrolysis cell. Faraday's First Law Of Electrolysis: "The mass of any element deposited during electrolysis is directly proportional to the number of coulombs of electricity passed ". ...read more.

Middle

x Time(s) = 0.2A x (15 x 60 ) = 180C. 180C = 1 . x 180 = 0.00186. 96,500 0.00186 moles gives 32 x 0.00186 = 0.05952g Predicted amounts of copper deposited at cathode: For 20 minutes = Charge (A) x Time(s) = 0.2A x (20 x 60 ) = 240C. 240C = 1 . x 240 = 0.00248. 96,500 0.00248 moles gives 32 x 0.00248 = 0.07936g Predicted amounts of copper deposited at cathode: For 25 minutes = Charge (A) x Time(s) = 0.2A x (25 x 60 ) = 300C. 300C = 1 . x 300 = 0.00310. 96,500 0.00310 moles gives 32 x 0.00310 = 0.09920g. Method and Safety: I will set up a circuit as seen in my diagram of apparatus. This circuit will test faradays law by checking how much copper is deposited at the cathode. To ensure safety, I will wear goggles and also use tweezers for picking things up, also a heat proof mat to avoid spillage on working area. The variable resistor will ensure that current is kept at 0.2A . The experiment will be carried out over several lessons to avoid rushing. ...read more.

Conclusion

It became impossible to adjust the resister to 2.0A after trying everything I could I got it to 2.2A. So there were one or to mistakes that were only noticed after the experiment. That i would without doubt be aware of if i ever get the chance to retake the practical. My results did prove the Faraday theory wrong. In fact though I believe that if it were not for my mistakes the Faraday theory may easily be correct. I only had one set of results so the experiment needs to be repeated for more reliable results. This was the first time I have ever done an experiment with electrolysis and found it fascinating and hope next time I carry out this practical I do it more fairly as I had planned it. I could also investigate other factors besides time such as copper sulphate concentration, distance between electrodes, changing the current. Being methodical and precise about the way the electrodes were hung into the solution in the beaker is very important so I would take care with that. Science Coursework Electrolysis of Copper Sulphate solution 1 ...read more.

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