Teacher Notes

Lab – Observing a Chemical Reaction
Summary Students observe the dissolving of CuCl2⋅ 2H2O in water followed by the exothermic reaction between CuCl2⋅ 2H2O and aluminum. The products of the reaction are then separated by filtration. Time Frame: 45 minutes. Chemistry Concepts: physical and chemical changes, quantitative and qualitative observations, endothermic and exothermic reactions, separation by filtration Materials (per group) 2 100-mL beakers thermometer buret clamp ring ring stand Notes: • • Use reagent grade CuCl2⋅ 2H2O rather than technical grade for better results. Dispense in beakers at each lab station. Each group will use about 5 g of the crystals. Precut the aluminum foil squares to 8 cm × 8 cm. glass stirring rod plastic spoon magnifying glass funnel filter paper copper(II) chloride dihydrate aluminum foil, 8 cm × 8 cm distilled water wash bottle

Procedure Notes While the quantities described in the procedure may seem approximate, it is important that students adhere to them in order to achieve the best results. Demonstrate the proper filtration setup as described in steps 5 through 7. See the diagram to the right. Safety Precaution: The beaker may become quite hot during the course of this exothermic reaction. Some spitting of solution may also occur, so it’s important that students heed the caution in step 4 to not look directly down into the beaker. Expected observations: During the reaction with aluminum foil, students should observe the blue-green solution of CuCl2 change to colorless. A red-brown precipitate forms, heat is released, and H2 gas is produced. The equation for this redox reaction is as follows: 3 Cu2+(aq) + 4 Al(s) + 6 H+(aq) → 3 Cu(s) + 4 Al3+(aq) + 3 H2(g)

Exothermic reactions produce heat and feel hot. This was a physical change. and change in light or heat. gas was evolved. 2. while endothermic reactions absorb heat and often feel cold. Chemical changes involve a change in the identity of a substance. evolution of gas. The larger particle size of the red-brown solid is what allowed it to be separated from the water by filtration. Both of the substances retained their identities. There was a color change from blue-green to colorless. not the original aluminum foil and CuCl2 solution. 4. 6. 3. All of these are signs of a chemical change. thus it was not an example of a “color change. Signs of a chemical change include color change.Teacher Notes Conclusions Answer Key 1. Filtration of the resulting mixture yields new substances. 5. The only quantitative observations in this experiment were the temperature measurements.” Also. . and heat was produced. Physical changes are a change in the form of a substance without changing its identity. a new substance is formed. Since this reaction produced heat and a rise in temperature. formation of a precipitate. it dissolved. The water and dissolved substances were able to pass through the filter. When the aluminum foil was added to the experiment. a precipitate (new solid) was formed. it would be classified as exothermic. a chemical change occurred. When CuCl2⋅ 2H2O was added to water. The color of the crystals was simply imparted to the water. the two substances could easily be separated by evaporating the water. while the solid was not able to do so.

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