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Freezing point of Lauric Acid

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Freezing Point Depression: Lauric Acid

Introduction

When a substance freezes or solidifies, the molecules form a certain arrangement which

in most cases is a closely packed and very dense solid. However when impurities are introduced,

they interfere with normal molecular interactions. This causes the need for more energy to be

taken out of the system in order for the system to solidify. Hence, the freezing temperature is

lowered. An example of this process can be seen during winter after a snowstorm. Road salt is

spread onto roads in order to lower the freezing point of water so that ice cannot form as easily.

In this lab, Lab Pro was used to determine the freezing point depression constant (

) for

Lauric acid. This was done by first determining the freezing point of pure Lauric acid. In order to

do so, we obtained a test tube with pure Lauric acid which was initially frozen. We melted the

solid by placing it in a beaker of water at around 60. Then, the test tube was placed in a beaker

of cold water and a temperature probe was placed in the test tube. As the Lauric acid cooled and

eventually formed a solid, the temperature data was recorded by the Lab Pro device. Once the

Lauric acid was completely frozen into a solid, the graph and data were able to be analyzed. This

process was repeated twice to find the average freezing point of Lauric Acid.

The first part of the experiment was done only to find the freezing point of pure Lauric

acid, which will serve as a baseline for the following two experiments and eventually lead to the

determination of

**for Lauric acid. The following two experiments were done exactly as the
**

first part. The sample was frozen to begin with, melted in warm water, and put in an ice bath to

solidify while temperature data was recorded. However, the samples in Part 2 were not pure

Lauric acid, but a solution of Lauric acid and Benzoic Acid. In the first test tube, the mixture is

composed of 0.750g of Benzoic acid and 8.00g of Lauric acid. In the second tube, the mixture

was 1.50g BA and 8.00g LA. The molality and change in freezing temperatures can be easily

calculated and thus, the freezing point depression constant can be found.

Equations

The most important equation in this lab is as follows:

**Where is the lowering of the freezing point in for the solution relative to the freezing point
**

of the pure solid, is the molality of the solution, and

**is the freezing point depression
**

constant for the solvent. This equation was crucial and utilized in Part 2 of this lab to find

by

first finding the that resulted from the two impure mixtures.

[2]

As shown in the previous equation, represents the molality of the solution and can be

calculated by the following equation:

The molality is used rather than the molarity because molality does not depend on the volume of

the solvent which can change when temperature changes.

Results

The freezing point of pure Lauric

Acid was found in the first part of this lab

by analyzing the graph of temperature vs.

time. One trial is shown to the right in

Figure 1. The freezing point can be seen as

the flat portion of the graph. The process

was done two times and the two freezing

points were found to be 43.44 and

43.13, which leads to an average freezing

point of 43.285 for pure Lauric acid.

In the next two experiments, the

molality of the mixtures were found by using

the molar weight of Benzoic Acid which is 122.12 g/mol. The molality for the 0.750g BA

sample was found to be 0.768mol/kg. Also, the freezing point for this sample was found to be

40.99, which corresponds to a =2.295. Furthermore, using equation [1], the freezing point

depression constant was found to be

=2.989/

Similarly, the molality for 1.50g BA sample was found to be 1.534mol/kg. Also, the

freezing point was found to be 37.85 which corresponds to 5.435. This leads to the

calculation of

=3.540/ for the second sample. The average was determined to be

**=3.265/, which was the result of interest.
**

Discussion

The results of this lab were qualitatively expected. After the freezing point was

determined for pure Lauric Acid, lower freezing points were found each time for the two samples

with BA solutes. This was expected because the impurities in the solution cause the need for

more energy to be taken out of the system for the system to solidify. As for the quantitative

results, the freezing point of pure Lauric Acid was found to be 43.285 which is pretty much

exactly the same as the literature value at 43.2.

Figure 1: Temperature vs. Time for Pure Lauric Acid

Considering the freezing point that we found was almost identical to the literature value,

it is safe to assume that there was little to almost no error involved with our experiments. Since

each part of the experiment was done exactly the same, we can assume that our value of

**=3.265/ is reasonably close to the actual freezing point depression constant of Lauric
**

Acid.

Conclusion

With the use of Lab Pro, we were able to measure the decreasing temperatures of our 4

samples as they solidified. First, we found the average freezing point of pure Lauric Acid to be

43.285 which was almost identical to the literature value. Then, we calculated the freezing

points of two solutions of Benzoic Acid and Lauric Acid and found that they were lower with the

additional solute. This led to the determination of the freezing point depression constant of

**=3.265/ for Lauric acid, which was the objective of the experiment.
**

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