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CHEMICAL MONITERING AND MANAGEMENT

Knowledge:
K9.4.1
Much of the work of chemists involves monitoring the
reactants and products of reactions and managing reaction
conditions.
K9.4.1.1

Outline the role of a chemist employed in a named industry or


enterprise, identifying the branch of chemistry undertaken by the
chemist and explaining a chemical principle that the chemist uses.
Burhan Gemikonakli is a plant chemist at Qenos. His roles include
monitoring the quality of ethylene being produced; monitoring the
waste water quality making sure it meets environmental standards,
and adjusting conditions at the cracking furnace to optimise product
yields. The branch of chemistry is analytical (determining the
compositions of substances). The chemical principles include
catalytic cracking, and maximising yield through the use of
equilibrium reactions.

K9.4.1.2

Identify the need for collaboration between chemists as they


collect and analyse data.
There is a great need for collaboration between chemists in the
modern world. Not only do different branches of chemistry need to
combine and connect to solve many problems, but many of the
problems facing the world today are global, such as global warming.
This requires chemists across the globe to combine data and
research in order to formulate results that will help solve such
problems. Also needed is the collaboration between chemists and
other scientists in order to tackle problems that cross over multiple
specialist fields.

K9.4.1.3

Describe an example of a chemical reaction such as combustion,


where reactants form different products under different conditions
and thus would need monitoring.
Combustion has multiple outcomes depending on the circumstances
that it occurs in. Complete combustion occurs in an abundance of
oxygen, and has only two products: Carbon dioxide and water.
C2H4 + 3O2 2CO2 + 2H2O
Limited supplies of oxygen lead to incomplete combustion, with
products including carbon monoxide, and sometimes soot.
C2H4 + 2O2 2CO + 2H2O

These products are harmful to humans, and therefore any


combustion needs to be monitored by chemists to ensure that high
amounts of these products are not being produced.
K9.4.2
Chemical processes in industry require monitoring and
management to maximise production.
K9.4.2.1

Identify and describe the industrial uses of ammonia.


The uses of ammonia include in fertilisers, fibres and plastics, nitric
acid, household cleaners, detergents. The nitric acid produced can
then be used for dyes, explosives and nitro-glycerine.

K9.4.2.2

Identify that ammonia can be synthesised from its component


gasses, nitrogen and hydrogen.
Ammonia can be synthesised from hydrogen and nitrogen according
to the following:
N2 + 3H2 2NH3

K9.4.2.3

Describe that synthesis of ammonia occurs as a reversible reaction


that will reach equilibrium.
The reaction in the point above is reversible; therefore the system
will eventually reach equilibrium.

K9.4.2.4

Identify the reaction of hydrogen with nitrogen is exothermic.


The molar heat of combustion of the reaction is -92kJ.mol -1 of
nitrogen, therefore the reaction is exothermic.

K9.4.2.5

Explain why the rate of reaction is increased by higher


temperatures.
In order for a reaction to occur, molecules need to collide with
sufficient energy. Increasing temperature therefore increases the
number of successful collisions (those with greater energy than the
activation energy).

K9.4.2.6

Explain why the yield of product in the Haber process is reduced at


higher temperatures using Le Chteliers principle.
Increasing temperature will favour the endothermic reaction in
order to adjust the system to the change in conditions. In the Haber
process, the reverse reaction is endothermic. Therefore, increasing
the temperature will favour the decomposition of ammonia,
reducing the yield.

K9.4.2.8

Explain that the use of a catalyst will lower the reaction


temperature required and identify the catalyst used in the Haber
process.
Covalent bonds of gasses break as atoms break as atoms of gasses
bind to the surface of the catalyst. The atoms then migrate on the
the catalyst surface, and new bonds form. The new molecule then
leaves the catalyst surface. In essence, catalysts lower the
activation energy required, thereby increasing the reaction rate.
Catalysts used in the Haber process include Osmium, Uranium or
Iron Oxide.

K9.4.2.9

Analyse the impact of increased pressure of the system involved in


the Haber process.
When pressure is increased, Le Chteliers principle states that the
equilibrium will favour the equation producing fewer molecules. In
the Haber process, this is the forward reaction, increasing the
formation of ammonia.

K9.4.2.10

Explain why monitoring of the reaction vessel used in the Haber


process is crucial and discuss the monitoring required.
Because many different conditions must be maintained for efficient
and safe operation of the Haber process, monitoring is essential.
Temperature and pressure in the reaction vessel must be
maintained to keep them in the range for optimum conversion of
reactants to products. Excessive temperature can also damage the
catalyst. The ratio of H2 to N2 must be kept at 3:1 to avoid the buildup of one reactant. O2 must be removed from the system to prevent
the threat of an explosion. The concentrations of CO and CO 2 must
be monitored, as they can damage the catalyst.

K9.4.3
Manufactured products, including food, drugs and
household chemicals are analysed to determine or ensure their
chemical composition.
K9.4.3.1

Deduce the ions present in a sample from the results of tests.


For Cations:
1. Add HCL. If precipitate forms, the cation is Pb 2+. If not, move to
step 2.
2. Add H2SO4 to fresh sample. If precipitate forms, move to step 3. If
not, move to step 4.
3. Add NaF to fresh sample. If precipitate forms, cation is Ca 2+. If
not, cation is Ba2+.
4. Add NaOH to fresh sample. If blue precipitate forms, cation is
Cu2+. If brown precipitate forms, cation is Fe 3+. If green precipitate

forms, cation is Fe2+.


For Anions:
1. Add HNO3. If colourless gas is produced, carbonate is present.
2. Acidify solution, then add Pb(NO3)2 or Ba(NO3)2. If precipitate
forms, sulfate is present.
3. Add ammonia, then Ba(NO3)2. If precipitate forms, phosphate is
present.
4. Acidify solution, and add AgNO3. If precipitate forms, chloride is
present.
K9.4.3.2

Describe the use of AAS in detecting concentrations of metal ions


in solutions and assess its impact on scientific understanding of the
effects of trace elements.

AAS/Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy qualitative analysis through


the absorption spectrum of a sample solution that is sprayed
through a flame as a vapour.
Essentially AAS is an electronic qualitative flame test that uses the
absorption spectrum opposed to the emission spectrum
Procedure;
1. A sample is fed through a flame, so that it can be hot enough to
vapourised.
2. Simultaneously light is fed through the flame
3. Each atom can only absorb light energy in discrete quantised
amounts
4. The frequency of a photon is proportion to its energy, so only
certain frequencies of light are absorbed by each arrangement of
electrons.
5. The energy is then reemitted by the exited electrons as they
return to ground state, and is subsequently emitted as light, where
the frequency not absorbed in 4. is absent from the results
6. A prism splits up the final light into separate colours, which are
picked up by a photomultiplier
7. The absorption of each frequency can be measured and this can
determine how much of the element is present.
Advantages
Fast, Easy, Accurate and highly sensitive

Individual elements can be analysed even amongst the presence


of other elements (as the photomultiplier can be moved to isolate
specific frequencies)
Disadvantages
Expensive
Only tests one metal at a time
Destruction of sample
Doesnt work for most non-metals
Impact on scientific understanding of the effects of trace elements
I. Identification of Trace elements Trace elements are essential for
the growth, health and nutrition of humans, livestock and crops.
They are termed trace elements because their required levels for
nutrition are exceedingly minute. Prior to the widespread use of
AAS, trace element studies were very limited. The supreme
sensitivity, selectivity and accuracy of AAS was instrumental in
measuring the concentrations of metallic trace elements which were
essential for the health of humans and the quality of the food
supply they consumed.
II. Used in medicine, agriculture, mineral exploration, metaullurgy,
food analysis, biochemistry and environmental monitoring.
K9.4.4
Human activity has caused changes in the composition and
the structure of the atmosphere. Chemists monitor these changes
so that further damage can be limited.
K9.4.4.1

Describe the composition and layered structure of the atmosphere.


The atmosphere consists of 4 main layers: the troposphere, the
stratosphere, the mesosphere and the thermosphere.
The troposphere is the first layer, and lays 0 20km above the
earths surface. It contains 75% of the atmospheres mass. The
stratosphere is the second, lying 20 50km above the surface. It
consists of mainly nitrogen gas, oxygen gas and the ozone layer.
The mesosphere lies 50 85km above the surface, and consists of
gasses and gas ions that cannot exist at lower altitudes. The
thermosphere lies between 85km 500km above the surface, and
has very few gas particles present. The totalled atmosphere
contains 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.93% argon and 0.0035%
carbon dioxide.

K9.4.4.2

Identify the main pollutants found in the lower atmosphere and


their sources.

The main pollutants in the lower atmosphere include:


- Particulates
- CO2 & CO (from incomplete combustion)
- NOx (combustion in air at high temperatures in vehicles and power
stations)
- Volatile organic compounds such as hydrocarbons
- SO2 (metal extraction from ores, combustion with impurities,
lightning)
- Lead (from leaded petrol combustion)
K9.4.4.3

Describe ozone as a molecule able to act as both an upper


atmosphere UV radiation shield and a lower atmosphere pollutant.
Ozone molecules in the stratosphere form a very small, thin layer
that protects us from harmful UV rays. However, in the troposphere,
ozone is highly toxic, even in small amounts.

K9.4.4.4

Describe the formation of a co-ordinate covalent bond.