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Year 12 Chemistry Coursework: The Magnesium Statue

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Year 12 Chemistry Coursework The Magnesium Statue Niall Boyle 12E Planning The Problem A statue, which is made of an alloy consisting mainly of magnesium, corrodes at different rates, at different times of the year. Background Knowledge There are some areas of knowledge that should be taken into consideration to help in devising an experiment to help determine the cause of the problem, and which gave me a greater understanding of the problem. A major factor in the decay of the statue is acid rain, which prevents the formation of the oxide coat that would normally form on magnesium preventing corrosion in air. Rain is naturally acidic, due to the CO2 dissolved in it, however when sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen react with the rain water they form sulphuric, and nitric acids which make the rain strongly acidic. SO2 + 1/2O2 + H2O � H2SO4 It may also take the form of snow or fog. The sulphur dioxides and oxides of nitrogen come mainly from industry. Acid rain is currently a subject of great controversy because of widespread environmental damage for which it has been blamed, including eroding structures, injuring crops and forests, and threatening or depleting life in freshwater lakes. However the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1967 put in place regulations to reduce the release of sulphur dioxide from power plants to 10 million tons per year by January 1, 2000. ...read more.


takenfor the magnesium to be entirely dissolved * Work out the average time taken for the magnesium to dissolve and record it * Repeat these steps mixtures:25cm3 acid + 5cm3 water 20cm3 acid + 10cm3 water 15cm3 acid + 15cm3 water 10cm3 acid + 20cm3 water 5cm3 acid + 25cm3 water * Record your results on graphs of time for reaction against concentration of acid and rate of reaction against concentration of acid Blank Table of Results Sulphuric Water Conc. Time 1 Time 2 Ave. Time Rate of Acid (cm3) (cm3) (mol/dm�) (s) (s) (s) Reaction (s �) 30 0 2.00 25 5 1.66 20 10 1.33 15 15 1.00 10 20 0.66 5 25 0.33 Predicted Graph Results Table of Results Sulphuric Water Conc. Time 1 Time 2 Ave. Time Rate of Acid (cm3) (cm3) (mol/dm�) (s) (s) (s) Reaction (s �) 30 0 2.00 19 19 19 0.053 25 5 1.66 20 25 22.5 0.044 20 10 1.33 31 29 30 0.033 15 15 1.00 77 55 33 0.015 10 20 0.66 89 63 76 0.013 5 25 0.33 175 201 188 0.005 Interpretation My first graph, time for reaction to occur against concentration of acid, shows a negative correlation, with the curve of best fit similar to 1/x, meaning that as the acid became more concentrated the faster the reactants reacted. ...read more.


The reason the rate of reaction increases with concentration is because the more concentrated a reactant is, the more particles there are that can take part in the reaction. This means there shall be a greater number of collisions per second between the reactants, and the more collisions there are the more often there shall be a successful collision, so the reactants will react faster. My results were fairly accurate with all but one point near the line of best fit on each graph. Since both graphs are really showing the same information it will only be necessary to work out the percentage of accuracy there is in my results. I will use the last point on the second graph as it is furthest from the line of best fit. The actual point was 0.044 for rate of reaction when it should have been nearer 0.039. So: (0.039/0.044)*100=Percentage of accuracy 0.886*100=88.6% As such I am 88.6% certain of my results. If I was doing the experiment again I would record three reactions for each concentration of acid to try and get a better average, and I would also use a burette to measure volume of water and sulphuric acid in each solution to improve the accuracy of my results. I would also increase the volume of acid used to 60ml and see if this causes the line of best fit on the second graph to be closer to the origin. ...read more.

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