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Experiment Plan. Chemistry IA: Electrolysis of Metal Sulphate solutions (NiSO4)

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Chemistry IA: Electrolysis of Metal Sulphate solutions (NiSO4) Introduction Electrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a compound by applying an electric current through a solution containing ions. Electrolytes are required to conduct electricity. They must be dissolved in water or in molten state for the electrolytes to conduct because then, the ions are free to move allowing the solution to be electrolyzed.[1] In electrolysis, reduction happens at the cathode whilst oxidation happens at the anode. Reduction is the loss of electrons and oxidation is the gain of electrons. Research Question In this experiment, I will be electrolyzing nickel sulphate (NiSO4) solution. To further explain the aim of this experiment, I have formulated a research question: ?How does changing the current affect the mass of nickel deposited at the cathode in the electrolysis of nickel sulphate?? Hypothesis I predict that as the electrical charge increases, the mass of nickel deposited at the cathode after electrolysis will also increase. Faraday?s law of electrolysis, which investigates the quantitative relationship on electrochemical, can support this. Faraday?s law states, ?The amount of the substance produced by current at an electrode is directly proportional to the quantity of electricity used?.[2] During this electrolysis experiment, the aqueous solution of Nickel Sulphate will transfer Nickel from the anode to the cathode. ...read more.


Volume of solution (cm3) The volume of nickel sulphate for each trial will be kept at 100cm3. Measuring cylinders will be used for accurate measurement. Time (min) The timing for the experiment needs to be controlled very carefully to ensure the amount of current passing the electrolytic cell will have the same amount of time. For each trial, it will run for 2 minutes. This will be determined using a stopwatch. Voltage (V) To keep the voltage of this experiment constant set at 5V, we only need to switch the power pack to 5V and keep it there. Distance between electrodes (mm) The distance between the nickel electrodes needs to be kept constant so it doesn?t affect the amount of current passing. The distance will be kept at 40mm and this will be measured using a ruler. Surface of electrodes Before using the electrodes in the experiment, sand paper will be used to remove the oxide layer on the sheet of nickel. This will ensure the surface of all electrodes to be the same and will have the same surface for ions to attach to. Size of electrodes The electrodes need to be kept the same size to ensure there will be an equal surface area for nickel to deposit on. ...read more.


Final Mass of Cathode (±0.001g) Change in mass (±0.001g) Average mass gained (±0.002 g) Current (A) Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 Data table The table above is a draft up of the raw data results table I will be using for my final readings from the experiment. It includes columns with headings, 3 trials, units and uncertainties and the average mass gained from the whole experiment. From these results, I can also draw a graph to easier represent the data and can also spot patterns or anomalous data that occur in the results. The actual theoretical mass of nickel deposited at the cathode can also be calculated with a few equations: Charge (C)= Current (A) x Time (s) Moles of electrons= Charge (C)/ 96500 Moles of Nickel= moles of electrons/2 Mass= moles x RAM The total percentage of random uncertainty can be calculated for my final answer in order to determine whether my experiment was fully successful and that the results are accurate. Wires Crocodile clips Stopwatch Sandpaper Ruler Electronic balance ________________ [1] Neuss, Geoffrey. IB Study Guide: Chemistry: Study Guide. [s.l.]: Oxford UP, 2007. Print. [2] "Faraday's laws of electrolysis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 04 Oct. 2012 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/201755/Faradays-laws-of-electrolysis>. ...read more.

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