Determine the Decomposition of Copper Carbonate

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I’m going to produce a piece of coursework, which determine the Decomposition of Copper Carbonate

The purpose of decomposing CuCO3 is to determine the volume of CO2 gas that evolves. In this experiment, the water displacement method is used to recover the gas evolved. The volume of CO2 collected is converted to dry conditions, which is then compared to the theoretical volume calculated. As copper has two oxides Cu2O and CuO, when copper carbonate (CuCO3) decomposes on heating to form one of these oxides and an equation can be written for each possible reaction:

Equation 1: 2CuCO3(s) ------> Cu2O(s) + 2CO2 (g) + 1/2O2

Equation 2: CuCO3(s) --------->CuO(s) + CO2 (g)

My aim is to find out which of these equations is correct.


I predict that the CuO compound will be formed, because this is in line with the pilot results, and would be supported by the background theory. Copper most commonly forms compounds as a divalent ion, so I think that the thermal decomposition will be no exception and the oxide will be CuO. The kinetic stability and the stability of CuO with respect to Cu2O could account for the fact that Cu2O is energetically more stable with respect to its elements.


Develop a table to record the various measurements.
Write a balanced equation for the decomposition reaction.
Determine the number of moles of the mixture used.
Determine the theoretical volume of gas produced in the experiment.
Determine the actual volume of gas product dry and at STP.
Determine the difference between the observed and expected values. Suggest possible reasons for any difference.

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1) Set up the apparatus as shown above.

2) Weight the mass of 0.2 g of CuCO3 to the nearest 0.01 gram directly in the test tube.

    The reason that I have used 0.2g of CuCO3 is because it produces   0.2/123.5 = 0.001619 mol 24000* 0.001619mol = 38.86 cm3 of CO2   which is lower than the volume of the graduated cylinder. And this will allow as to measure the  

3) Fill a 50-ml measuring ...

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