Chemical Equilibria Essay

1587 words - 6 pages

Chemical Equilibria


In this experiment you will study some metals and some nonmetals to find their relative reactivity. A ranking according to reactivity is called an activity series. For example, an activity series containing the elements calcium, gold and iron would put the reactive calcium at the top, iron in the middle, and the unreactive gold at the bottom. If a piece of iron metal is placed in a solution of gold nitrate, the iron will dissolve forming positive ions while the solid gold metal appears. The more reactive metal will displace ions of the less reactive metal from solution. The less reactive element will appear as the solid element.


To determine an activity series for metals using a microscale technique, and to determine an activity series for halogens using a solvent extraction technique.


a. Determine an activity series for some metals.

Place a 24-well plate so that there are 6 wells across and 4 wells down.

Place 1 dropper full of copper (II) nitrate solution in rows 2 through 4 in the first column. Put one dropper full of magnesium nitrate in wells 1, 3, and 4 of the second column. Place 1 dropper full of lead (II) nitrate in wells 1, 2, and4 of the third column. Put one dropper full of zinc nitrate in wells 1, 2, and 3 of the fourth column, and put 1 dropper full of silver nitrate on each of the 4 wells in the fifth column.

Put a small piece of copper metal in each of the wells containing a solution in the first row. Add magnesium metal to each of the solutions in the second row, lead to the third, and zinc to the fourth row. Allow to stand at least 5 minutes. Determine if a reaction has occurred in each well by observing if a metal precipitate has formed or if the surface of the metal has become coated. If a metal ion is reduced by a metal, than the reserve reaction should not occur. One metal is more reactive than another if the metal will replace the metal ion in its compounds. Record your data.

Dispose of all materials by the suggested manor of Methods #26a and #26b.

b. Determine the activity series for some halogens.

In this part you will test to see if the halogens Cl , Br ,and I ,can be reduced by the halide ion Cl , Br , and I . To determine what products will be formed, you will need to have a test, which will tell which halogen is present, Halogens dissolve in the nonpolar solvent mineral oil forming different color solutions. Mineral oil does not dissolve in water, but when shaken with an aqueous halogen solution, the halogen is extracted from the water into the mineral oil. The color of the mineral oil layer indicates which halogen is present.

First, test to see what color each halogen shows in mineral oil. Place 1 dropper full of chlorine water, 1 dropper of Bromine water, and 1 dropper of iodine water into separate 10mm test tubes. Add one dropper of mineral oil to each, cork the tube and shake it for ten seconds. Let the...

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