Investigating how the mass of iron fillings affects the mass of copper displaced from copper sulphate.

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An investigation into the displacement of metals (reacting masses)

Aim: I am investigating how the mass of iron fillings affects the mass of copper displaced from copper sulphate.

Apparatus: Iron filings, copper sulphate, beaker, stirring rod, goggles, scale, filter funnel, filter paper, evaporation dish.

The variable that I will be changing is the mass of Iron Filings (in grams) added to the Copper Sulphate.


  1. Collect all appropriate apparatus and then set up.
  2. Carefully pour 20cm³ of Copper Sulphate into a beaker.
  3. Place a sheet of filter paper on to the scales and then set scales to zero.
  4. Measure out 0.5g of Iron Filings on to the filter paper by reading the scales.
  5. Pour the Iron Filings into the beaker whilst simultaneously starting the stopwatch.
  6. Whilst the stopwatch is running, fold the filter paper so that it fits into the filter funnel.
  7. When 3 minutes has gone, stop the stopwatch and pour all of the Iron Filings into the filter funnel and allow to filter.
  8. When the Copper Sulphate has filtered out, take out the filter paper and allow it to dry.
  9. Repeat from step 2 using new Copper Sulphate, but change the variable to 0.75g, and then 1.0g.

* Carry out experiment twice or three times to gain reliable results.

Prediction: For the experiment I predict that as the amount of Iron Filings are increased, the amount of copper displaced should also increase because it should be proportional to the masses of iron filings used. Also, the metal should weigh more after it has been in the Copper sulphate as Iron is more reactive than copper and should displace it from the solution.

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Iron        +        Copper Sulphate        →         Copper                +        Iron Sulphate

Fe        +        CuSO4                        →        Cu                +        FeSO4

56g        +        160g                        →        64g                +        152g


        216g                                                216g

Fair Test:

To make this investigation a fair test I made sure that the same apparatus was used as they can affect how much iron is displaced in 3 minutes. Also to make it a fair test, I will make sure that only the amount of iron added will be changed. I will weigh the iron filings and make sure it is accurate to the nearest milligram. When the newly formed copper is drying, I will try to make sure that none of the copper is lost or ...

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