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EXPERIMENT 1: CONCEPT OF SOLUBILITY & MISCIBILITY

OBJECTIVES
To become familiar with the components of a solution
2.

To examine some of the terms and concepts associated with solutions.

3.

To investigate solute and solvent interaction.

4.

To learn to make inferences about the nature of substances, based on their


solubility or miscibility.

MATERIALS
Test tube rack, 9 small test tubes, 3 rubber stoppers, spatula, hexane (C 6H14), ethanol
(C2H5OH), sodium chloride (NaCl), oxalic acid [(COOH) 2], paraffin, cooking oil,
methylene chloride (CH2Cl2), iodine (I2) or potassium iodide solution (KI)
PROCEDURES
A.

Solids in Liquids

1.

Label nine test tubes as 1 to 9.

2.

Fill test tube 1, 2 and 3 with distilled water (approximately full).

3.

Fill test tube 4, 5 and 6 with ethanol (approximately full).

4.

Fill test tube 7, 8 and 9 with hexane (approximately full).

5.

Weigh 1.0 g sodium chloride and put it into test tube 1, 4 and 7, each.

6.

Shake the mixture vigorously for about 30 seconds. Observe whether the solute
dissolve in the solution or not. Record the data in Table 1.

7.

Weigh 1.0 g oxalic acid and put it into test tube 2, 5 and 8, each. Repeat step 6.

8.

Weigh 1.0 g paraffin and put in into test tube 3, 6 and 9, each. Repeat step 6.

CAUTION: Hexane and ethanol are very volatile and very flammable liquids. While working
with them, absolutely no bunsen burner flames should be in the nearby vicinity.

Table 1
Solute

Solvent

Sodium chloride

Oxalic acid

Paraffin

Water

Ethanol

Hexane

B.

Miscibility of Liquids

1.

Add water, ethanol and hexane to 3 different test tubes (approximately full). Add 1
mL cooking oil to each of the test tubes. Froth gently to mix. Record your
observations in Table 2.
Table 2
Solvent

Observations

Water
Ethanol
Hexane

C.

The Relative Solubility of a Solute in Two Solvents

1.

Mix 2 ml methylene chloride and 4 ml water. Observe the relative position of each
liquid, by noting the volume of each liquid. Shake the mixture for five seconds and
allow the liquid to separate. What do you observe?
Observations: ______________________________________________________

2.

Add 2 drops of an iodine or potassium iodide solution to the test tube and note the
colour of each layer and their intensities.
Colour of the aqueous layer: __________________________________________
Colour of the methylene chloride layer: _________________________________

3.

Shake the test tube gently for 20 seconds. Allow the liquids to separate and note again
the colour of each layer.
Colour of the aqueous layer: __________________________________________
Colour of the methylene chloride layer: _________________________________

4.

Based on the relative intensity of the colours of the 2 layers, in which solvent is the
iodine more soluble?
_________________________________________________________________

DISCUSSION
1. Using the solubility results obtained in this experiment, and knowing that sodium chloride
is ionic and water is very polar, make inferences about the nature (polar or nonpolar)
of each of the following solutes and solvents.
Solutes:

Oxalic acid, paraffin

Solvents:

Ethanol, hexane

2. Infer the nature (polar or nonpolar) of cooking oil. Give reasons for your answer.
EXERCISE
1.

Explain the difference between miscible and soluble.

2.

Characterize these compounds as soluble or insoluble in water

3.

a.

CaCO3

b.

ZnSO4

c.

Hg(NO3)2

d.

NH4ClO4

While working in a machine shop you spilt a spot of grease on your shirt sleeve. In
order to remove it, what would you use as a solvent with which to wash the spot?
Water, ethanol or hexane? Explain why.