Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent Investigation

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A Medicinal Problem


This is an investigation to try to produce Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) in an efficient way as an anti - inflammatory agent for medicinal purposes. The company producing Magnesium Sulphate has received a very large order due as soon as possible. One way of producing Magnesium Sulphate is to add Magnesium (Mg) to Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4). A chemical reaction takes place because the Magnesium is higher up in the reactivity series than the Hydrogen (reactive part of any acid) and therefore replaces the Hydrogen to form Magnesium Sulphate.

Scientific Knowledge:

Part of scientific knowledge is the collision theory which firstly states that for particles to react they must first collide. Secondly for reactants to react they require a minimum amount of energy. The rate of reaction is related to the collision theory since that for there even to be any rate of reaction the collision theory has to take place.

Strong acids have pH's of 1 - 2 and react a lot more violently than weak acids of pH 5 - 6. The pH of acids change around one main factor the quantity of Hydrogen ions in the solution of any acid. In a strong acid nearly all the molecules form ions while in weaker acids fewer Hydrogen molecules form ions.

When Magnesium reacts with Sulphuric Acid the acid molecules which split up and Hydrogen gas disperses

Word equation:

Magnesium + Sulphuric Acid Magnesium Sulphate + Hydrogen

Symbol equation:

Mg (s) + H2SO4 (aq) MgSO4 (aq) + H2 (g)

All factors that affect the rate of reaction in this experiment are the concentration of the acid, temperature of which the reaction is performed, surface area of the Magnesium ribbon and the presence or absence of a catalyst. The concentration matters as the higher the concentration of the acid the time taken for the reaction to be completed decreases as more Hydrogen ions can break up the Magnesium atoms in a shorter amount of time. The more successful collisions there are , the less time required to complete the reaction. This idea also explains why the reaction between Magnesium and Sulphuric acid slows down as time goes on (as shown on sketch graph on following page).

Concentration of the Sulphuric Acid:

Low concentration

glass beaker At a low concentration there are

fewer hydrogen ions to react with

the Magnesium so collisions are

Hydrogen ions in far between. This means the
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Sulphuric Acid reaction will take longer.


High concentration

At a high concentration there is more Hydrogen Hydrogen ions in ions present so the Sulphuric Acid collisions are closer together. The more collisions happen more often so greater chance of reaction.


This sketch graph is the rate of reaction compared to the time it takes to complete the experiment of changing Magnesium and Sulphuric Acid into Magnesium Sulphate and Hydrogen.







Temperature of which the experiment is carried ...

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