Production of Epsom salts

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Production of Epsom salts


In this coursework, I am going to be making Epsom salts, Magnesium sulphate crystals is another name for Epsom salts. It is commonly being called Epsom salts because the salt is found in spa water from Epsom. They can be used for different things including manufacture of mordants for the dyeing industry, in the tanning of leather and manufacture of some lawn treatments. Epsom salts can be made in the laboratory by adding magnesium ribbon to dilute sulphuric acid. The chemical formula for the crystals is MgS047H2O. It is called the water of crystallisation as it is part of the crystal structure and if it is removed the solid changes from crystals to powder. If an excess of magnesium ribbon is added to dilute sulphuric acid all of the acid will react and the hydrogen will be liberated leaving a solution of magnesium sulphate in water and if the water is evaporated off slowly crystals of MgS047H2O will form. There are a number of factors that can influence the rate of a chemical reaction. These include:

  • The temperature
  • The concentration of reactants in the solution
  • Catalysts
  • The pressure of gases

The temperature: When two chemicals react, their molecules have to collide with each other with sufficient energy for the reaction to take place. Heating the mixture will raise the energy levels of the molecules involved in the reaction. Increasing temperature means the molecules move faster.

The concentration of reactants in the solution: Increasing the concentration of the reactants will increase the frequency of collisions between the two reactants

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Catalysts: Catalysts speed up chemical reactions. Only very minute quantities of the catalyst are required to produce a dramatic change in the rate of the reaction

: If one of the reactants is a solid, the surface area of the solid will affect how fast the reaction goes. This is because the two types of molecule can only bump into each other at the liquid solid interface

The pressure of gases: By increasing the pressure, you squeeze the molecules together so you will increase the frequency of collisions between them

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