6. A Six-Bottle Study of Ionic Compounds

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1 6. A Six-Bottle Study of Ionic Compounds What you will accomplish in this experiment In last week s experiment, you observed a chemical change: a chemical reaction that resulted in a change in the composition, and thus the identity, of the substances being observed. That chemical reaction was the process of rearranging, removing, replacing or adding atoms (and/or electrons) so that new substances were formed. This week s experiment will provide you with another opportunity to practice your skills in observing chemical reactions. This time, however, you ll need to be able to draw conclusions from your observations you ll need to make a decision as to whether or not a chemical change has truly occurred (whether a new substance has been formed). In each case where a change in composition has occurred and a new substance has been produced, you ll need to write chemical formulas for those new substances, and then write a balanced chemical equation to fully describe the chemical change. Finally, you ll use your observations of those chemical changes to deduce the identity of unknown substances by carefully studying their chemical behavior. Concepts you need to know to be prepared It s much easier to keep track of the chemical changes that matter is undergoing if a reaction is expressed in the form of a chemical equation. Rather than writing out the names of the elements and compounds that are participating in the reaction, the chemical formulas of these substances are used. An arrow serves as the verb in this chemical sentence, indicating the transformation of the reacting substances (the reactants ) into the products. For example, let s write the chemical equation for the reaction between copper (II) chloride and aluminum metal that you performed in last week s experiment. The English sentence that describes this reaction might read: Aqueous copper (II) chloride reacts with aluminum wire to form copper metal and aqueous aluminum chloride. To express this reaction as a chemical equation, we would first need to write the chemical formulas of the participating elements and compounds. Reactants Products aqueous copper (II) chloride: CuCl2 (aq) aluminum wire: Al (s) copper metal: Cu (s) aqueous aluminum chloride: AlCl3 (aq) Notice that the subscripted symbol in parentheses included with each chemical formula indicates the physical state in which that substance exists. Two of the substances in this chemical reaction are in the solid state (s), and two are dissolved in water, or aqueous, (aq). Other common symbols you ll encounter are (g) to indicate a gas, and (l) to indicate a liquid. George W. Dombi Page 1 of 8 10/16/12

2 Our chemical equation describing the reaction between copper (II) chloride and aluminum wire can now be written as: CuCl2 (aq) + Al (s) Cu (s) + AlCl3 (aq) But clearly something is not right about the chemical equation as it s written above. It doesn t indicate that matter is conserved during the reaction: the amount of matter that s present at the start of the reaction is the same as the amount of matter at the conclusion of the reaction, because no matter is created or destroyed. The chemical formula for copper (II) chloride on the reactant side of the equation indicates two chloride ions; yet the chemical formula for aluminum chloride on the product side of the equation shows three chloride ions. The proportion of positive and negative ions in each of these compounds is fixed, so the chemical formulas of the compounds CANNOT be changed so as to indicate the conservation of matter. But what CAN be changed are the amounts of each participant as expressed by the chemical equation. We can write numbers in front of the chemical formulas to indicate more than one of a reactant or product formula unit. A formula unit is simply the small grouping of atoms or ions expressed in the chemical formula of an ionic or molecular substance. For example, a formula unit of the ionic compound sodium chloride (NaCl) would consist of one Na+ ion and one Cl- ion. And a formula unit of the molecular compound methane (CH4) would consist of one C atom and four H atoms. The numbers written in front of the chemical formulas in a chemical equation are called coefficients, and adding them to the chemical equation is called balancing the equation. The chemical equation for the reaction of copper (II) chloride with aluminum could be balanced by adding the coefficients shown below: 3 CuCl2 (aq) + 2 Al (s) 3 Cu (s) + 2 AlCl3 (aq) Now the chemical equation shows that: 3 formula units of aqueous copper (II) chloride react with 2 atoms of aluminum metal to produce 3 atoms of copper metal and 2 formula units of aqueous aluminum chloride. 3 (formula units) CuCl2 (aq) + 2 (atoms) Al (s) 3 (atoms) Cu (s) + 2 (formula units) AlCl3 (aq) If you count the number of each type of atom on the reactant side of the equation, you ll find that it exactly matches the number of each type of atom on the product side of the equation. The equation is balanced. A balanced chemical equation MUST truly represent a chemical change: the transformation of one or more substances into new substances, which have different chemical and physical properties. Evidence of this George W. Dombi Page 2 of 8 10/16/12

3 chemical change may be based on observations such as: The release of a gas, such as carbon dioxide gas. This can occur when an acid is added to an ionic compound that contains the polyatomic anion carbonate (CO3 2- ) or bicarbonate (HCO3 2- ). The acid donates H+ ions to the carbonate to create carbonic acid (H2CO3), which decomposes to water (H2O) and carbon dioxide gas (CO2). The formation of a solid (called a precipitate ) when aqueous solutions of ionic compounds are mixed, and a product is created that is not water-soluble. Chemical changes, whether they involve the release of gas or the formation of a precipitate, generally follow one of a few simple patterns. For example, the chemical change that you observed between copper (II) chloride and aluminum followed the pattern of a single-replacement reaction, where aluminum replaced copper in an ionic compound. AB + C A + CB 3 CuCl2 (aq) + 2 Al (s) 3 Cu (s) + 2 AlCl3 (aq) A double-replacement reaction involves two compounds undergoing a change of partners. This often means that two compounds react by exchanging ions, forming two new compounds: AB + CD AD + BC One example is the reaction of an acid (hydrochloric acid, HCl) with a base (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) to produce water and a salt, sodium chloride (NaCl). HCl (aq) + NaOH (aq) H2O (l) + NaCl (aq) In the case of this particular example, it would be very difficult for you to discern that a chemical change had actually taken place, as there would be no gas bubbles or solid precipitate for you to observe, indicating that new substances had indeed been formed. For this reason, all of the chemical changes that you ll observe in this week s experiment will involve either the release of a gas or the formation of a solid precipitate. You ll need to describe each one of these chemical changes by writing a balanced chemical equation. The fact that all of these chemical changes will be doublereplacement reactions will simplify your task. And in the few cases where your observations indicate that NO new substance is formed from a particular combination of reactants, you ll simply write NO REACTION on the products side of the arrow. Here is the scenario for this week s experiment: The chemistry stockroom manager has brought six unlabeled bottles into the lab. These bottles contain aqueous solutions, and they had once been properly labeled, but as the solutions are quite old, the labels have fallen off. Some of the solutions are salts of heavy metal ions, so those will require proper disposal as hazardous waste. It will be your job to determine which solution is in each bottle. From the labels, you can deduce which compounds are possible, but you have to match each of the labels to the appropriate bottle. There are three phases to this lab activity: 1. You ll need to experiment with KNOWN samples of the six possible solutions, in order to determine how each substance behaves when it is mixed with each of the others. the Observations table in the Report Sheet will help you organize your observations for this step. George W. Dombi Page 3 of 8 10/16/12

4 2. You ll follow the same procedure with the six UNKNOWN solutions, and deduce which of the unidentified bottles contains which substance. 3. You ll write balanced chemical equations describing each of the chemical changes that you observed when the different pairs of solutions were mixed. The six solutions are: Lead nitrate, Pb(NO3)2 Silver nitrate, AgNO3 Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3 Potassium iodide, KI Hydrochloric acid, HCl Sodium hydroxide, NaOH You ll note that three of these compounds contain polyatomic ions: covalently-bonded groups of atoms that have a net charge. The nitrate anion has the formula: NO3 - The hydroxide anion has the formula" OH- And the carbonate anion has the formula: CO3 2- You may recall that all of the metal cations you worked with in Lab #3 (the paper chromatography separation experiment) were given to you as nitrates: aqueous solutions of the nitrate salt of each ion. The solubility table below will enable you to make predictions as to which combinations of the six aqueous solutions will lead to a chemical change that produces a solid precipitate a product that is not water-soluble. (And note that the table shows that almost all nitrate salts are water-soluble, which made it possible for you to spot aqueous solutions of those metal ions on your chromatography paper in Lab #3.) Procedure that you will follow Part A: Observations of Known Solutions 1. Obtain a set of dropper bottles labeled with the names (and/or chemical formulas) of the six known reference solutions. 2. In separate wells in your newly-cleaned spot plate, mix five drops of any known solution with five drops of another known solution, and record your observations in the appropriate box in the Part A Observations Table on your Report Sheet. 3. Repeat this process until you ve made all possible combinations of the six solutions, and recorded all observations in your table. It s essential that you are quite certain of what you ll observe when you mix any one of the known reference solutions with any other of the solutions. 4. When emptying your spot plate into your waste beaker, make sure you rinse it completely with distilled water from your wash bottle before conducting more tests. George W. Dombi Page 4 of 8 10/16/12

5 Part B: Observations of Unlabeled Solutions 5. Obtain a set of dropper bottles labeled as the six unknown solutions. You already know that these are the same six solutions you worked with in Part A, but you need to determine which is which. 6. In separate wells in your newly-cleaned spot plate, mix five drops of any unknown solution with five drops of another unknown solution, and record your observations in the appropriate box in the Part B Observations Table on your Report Sheet. 7. Repeat this process until you ve made all possible combinations of the six solutions, and recorded all observations in your table. 8. In the last row of the Part B Table, write the correct name and chemical formula for each of the solutions you identify. Circle the chemical formula for those solutions which contain heavy metal ions, and so will require special hazardous waste treatment. 9. When emptying your spot plate into your waste beaker, make sure you rinse it completely with distilled water from your wash bottle before conducting more tests. Part C: Writing a Balanced Chemical Equation for each Reaction Observed 10. For each combination of solutions in which you observed that a chemical reaction took place, you ll need to write out the chemical equation for that reaction by: Determining the chemical formulas for the products of the reaction. Balancing the chemical equation. Indicating the physical state of all reactants and products in the reaction. IMPORTANT: You MUST dispose of all chemical waste as directed by your lab instructor. Do NOT put any chemical waste in the laboratory sinks or garbage cans. Use the solid and liquid waste containers in the hood as directed by your lab instructor. ALSO IMPORTANT: Please thoroughly clean your laboratory glassware before replacing it in your equipment drawer. Large Nalgene bottles of soap solution are provided near the laboratory sinks. You should notify your lab instructor if the stock of soap solution is running low. George W. Dombi Page 5 of 8 10/16/12

6 Report Sheet 6: A Six-Bottle Study of Ionic Compounds Student Lab Partner Date Lab Performed Section # Lab Instructor Date Report Received Lab Notebook: Data and Observations Observations Table for Part A: Sodium hydroxide Hydrochloric acid Potassium iodide Sodium carbonate Silver nitrate Lead nitrate NaOH HCl KI Na2CO3 AgNO3 Pb(NO3)2 Lead nitrate Pb(NO3)2 Silver nitrate AgNO3 Sdium carbonate Na2CO3 Potassium iodide KI Hydrochloric acid HCl Sodium hydroxide NaOH George W. Dombi Page 6 of 8 10/16/12

7 Observations Table for Part B: Unknown 1 Unknown 2 Unknown 3 Unknown 4 Unknown 5 Unknown 6 Unknown 6 Unknown 5 Unknown 4 Unknown 3 Unknown 2 Unknown 1 Identity of Unknown (name & chemical formula) Unknown 1 = Unknown 2 = Unknown 3 = Unknown 4 = Unknown 5 = Unknown 6 = George W. Dombi Page 7 of 8 10/16/12

8 Formal Report: Results and Conclusions Part C: Balanced Chemical Equations for Solution Combinations where a Reaction Occurred For each combination of solutions in which you observed that a chemical reaction took place, write out the chemical equation for that reaction by: Determining the chemical formulas for the products of the reaction. Balancing the chemical equation. Indicating the physical state of all reactants and products in the reaction. Additional Questions: Translate each of the following descriptions of a chemical reaction into a balanced chemical equation. Use symbols to indicate the physical state of each participant in the reaction as described in the sentence. a) Copper metal reacts with oxygen gas to form the solid copper (I) oxide. b) The salt iron (III) oxide reacts with hydrogen gas to form iron metal and liquid water. c) Aluminum metal reacts with liquid bromine to form crystals of aluminum bromide. George W. Dombi Page 8 of 8 10/16/12

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