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Using Simple cells to find an order of reactivity in metals

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Introduction

Using Simple cells to find an order of reactivity in metals In electrochemical cells a chemical reaction occurs in the "cell" causing an electrical current to be generated. The electrochemical cell is made by dipping two metals into a solution which allows electricity to pass through it. In this experiment a solution containing ammonium chloride is used. The Aim The aim of this science assessed practice is to use my data to confirm the position of the metals in the reactivity series. Apparatus Voltmeter 2 leads with crocodile clips Beaker (approximately 100cm3) Emery paper Ammonium chloride solution Strips of the following metals: Zinc Copper Magnesium Lead Tin Aluminium Nickel Procedure 1. Clean the metals with emery paper. 2. Half fill the beaker with ammonium chloride solution. 3. Connect two wires to the voltmeter. 4. Using crocodile clips connect a piece of one metal to wire and a different metal to the other wire. 5. Dip the two pieces of metal into the solution and record the HIGHEST reading given in the table 1. 6. Repeat steps 1-5 testing all the metals as indicated in the results table 1 (N.B. ...read more.

Middle

The out come of my result should match the real reactivity series in the order below: Safety: * Goggles must be worn to prevent chemicals get into eyes. * Lead is poisonous, wash hands thoroughly after the experiment. * Try to avoid in contact with ammonium chloride solution. Result Table METAL A Charge METAL B Charge VOLTAGE VOLTAGE Copper + Zinc - 0.5 0.5 Copper + Magnesium - 1.2 1 Copper + Lead - 0.25 0.1 Copper + Tin - 0.1 0 Copper + Aluminium - 0.3 0.3 Copper - Nickel + 0.1 0.05 Zinc + Magnesium - 0.2 0 Zinc - Lead + 0.2 0.2 Zinc - Tin + 0.1 0.1 Zinc - Aluminium + 0 0 Zinc - Nickel + 0.2 0.15 Magnesium - Lead + 0.6 0.4 Magnesium - Tin + 0.2 0.35 Magnesium - Aluminium + 0.1 0.05 Magnesium - Nickel + 0.2 0.3 Lead + Tin - 0.1 0 Lead + Aluminium - 0 0.05 Lead - Nickel + 0.1 0.01 Tin + Aluminium - 0 0.05 Tin - Nickel + 0.1 0.01 Aluminium - Nickel + 0.1 0.05 Copper Lead Tin Nickel Zinc Aluminum Magnesium Mean Lead 0.25 N/A N/A ...read more.

Conclusion

The positions for 'Lead', 'Nickel' and 'Tin' in the reactivity series is very hard to define, because they have such close voltage values in the experiment that a digital voltmeter will be required instead of an analogue one to work out the exact value of reactivity. Also other manmade errors (e.g. two metals being tested at a variable contact area with the solution) may be taken into account. Overall, my experiment was successful. By checking the reference book it proved that, generally metals above zinc is negative and below zinc is positive. The most reactive and least reactive metal will also produce the most voltage in an electrochemical cell. Therefore metals can be put into an order by measuring which metals can produce the higher voltage by comparing whether if it is a good electron donor. In order to improve the accuracy of the experiment and produce a firmer conclusion next time, I would use a digital voltmeter and a fixed position for the metals in the solution. Also I would change the amount of ammonium chloride solution to find out whether it affects my result. Reference: http://www.unis.org/UNIScienceNet/T2Chem2_knowledge.html http://www.micrecol.de/elecE6.html Encarta Encyclopaedia Shelnet- electrochemistry ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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