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AP Chemistry - Finding the Ratio of Moles of Reactants in a Chemical Reaction

AP Chemistry - Finding the Ratio of Moles of Reactants in a Chemical Reaction



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Published by Jonathan Chen

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Published by: Jonathan Chen on Jan 21, 2011
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The purpose of this lab is to determine the mole ratio of the reactantsodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and sodium thiosulfate (Na
)when reacted inchemical reaction.
 A balanced chemical equation gives the mole ratios of the reactantsnd products involved in the chemical reaction. However, when the formulas of he products are not known, experimental measurements can be made toetermine those ratios. This experiment uses the method of continuousariations to determine the mole ratio of the two reactants. First, solutions of he reactants are prepared in which the concentrations are known. Second, theolutions are mixed a number of times using different ratios of reactants. Third,he change of temperature is the property to be measured. The reactions arell exothermic, so the heat produced will be directly proportional to the amountf reaction that occurs. Since the experiment is designed so that the volume of olution is a constant for all measurements, the temperature change will alsoe proportional to the quantity of reactants consumed. The total number of oles of reactants is also kept a constant for the series of measurements.ach measurement is made with a different mole ratio of reactants. Theptimum ratio (determined after the results of the trials are graphed) is thetoichiometric ratio in the equation, which means that it should consume thereatest amount of reactants, form the greatest amount of products, andenerate the most heat and maximum temperature change.
0.50M sodium hypochlorite (NaClO
0.50M sodium thiosulfate (Na
) as ³Solution B´
Styrofoam cup
Graduated cylinders, 10mL, 25mL, and 50mL
Wash bottle filled with distilled water 
Measure the temperature of the NaCLO solution and of ³Solution B,´ andrecord the data in a table. Use the same thermometer, rinsing with distilledwater when switching solutions. The solutions should be the sametemperature. If they are not, a correction must be made for thetemperature difference after every trial by adding the products of thevolume of each of the solutions by their respective initial temperatures anddividing that product by the total volume of solution, 50mL.
Mix varying volumes of each solution (measured using appropriategraduated cylinders) in the Styrofoam cup, covering the closed systemeach time with a lid made by cutting off the top of another Styrofoam cup.Stir the solution with the thermometer, and record the highest temperaturereached by the mixture.
Pour the solution down the sink, and repeat the process using a differentratio of the two substances, always keeping the total volume at 50.0mL.Continue testing various ratios until you have obtained at least 3measurements on each side of the one that gave the maximumtemperature.
Plot the data. Draw two straight lines of best fit. The stoichiometric moleratio of the reactants is the point of intersection on the graph.
ab Questions
Explain how this method allows you to find the mole ratio of reactants.Mixing different volumes of the two reactants resulted in differenttemperature changes. The temperature change was directlyproportional to the quantity of reactants consumed because theexperiment was designed so that the volume of solution and the totalnumber of moles of reactants was a constant for the series of experiments. Thus, the optimum ratio(determined after the results of the trials are graphed) is the ratio of the volume of reactants thatconsumed the greatest amount of reactants, formed the greatestamount of products, and generated the most heat and maximumtemperature change.
Why must you keep a constant volume of reactants? A constant volume of reactants must be kept so that the resultingchanges in temperature can be directly compared because they aredirectly proportional to the quantity of reactants consumed in thereaction.
Is it necessary that the concentrations of the two solutions be thesame?Yes; in order to for the stoichiometric mole ratio of the reactants to beaccurate after the results of the trial are graphed, the concentrations of the two solutions must be the same. This is because molar concentrationis moles of solute divided by liter of solution.
What is meant by the term limiting reagent? A substance described as a limiting reagent is a reactant in a chemicalreaction that will be completely reacted before all other reactants in thereaction are used up, causing the reaction to stop.
Does the measurement of temperature or the measurement of volumelimit the precision of your data? Explain.The measurement of temperature limits the precision of the data to 3significant figures, and the thermometer used was capable of measuring temperature to the tenths of a degree. The measurement of volume limits the precision of the data to 2 significant figures becausethe graduated cylinders used were only capable of measuring volumeto the nearest mL.

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