Copper Synthesis Experiment

1173 words 5 pages
Experiment 1: Synthesis of Copper Compounds

Introduction
This experiment involves the synthesis of compounds originating from pure solid copper. By applying solubility rules and the reactive properties of substances, many compounds which would otherwise be costly to extract from nature are able to be synthesized in the laboratory. Laboratory synthesized may sometimes be more economical than natural extraction, however it poses its own problems with the amount of substance that is actually yielded from the production reactions (Stathopulos, 2007). Almost no reaction has 100% yield, thus scientists inadvertently produce undesired products that must be filtered or decanted out of solution (Petrucci et al, 2007). Beginning with pure copper
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The heat that was being applied was not intense heat, it was turned down to a rather low setting so that it would be hot enough to evaporate the water but not cause the copper to "pop" and end up all over the counter top. in addition, the copper was likely bunched up in the dish opposed to spread out which may also contribute to the lack of evaporation. The formation of copper oxide render the copper sample impure as it would have additional oxygen mass. Aside from the obvious mass error, other sources of error may have arisen from incomplete reactions or lost quantities of solution during transition from different stages.
Questions
1) It was important to slowly add the NaOH to the solution to ensure that all of the solution would react with the solute. By slowly adding and stirring intermittently it allowed the most amount of solution to come in contact and solidify/thicken. If the NaOH was poured all at once, mixing the solution would become difficult as it would start to thicken immediately, thus the slow pouring ensured a uniform reaction product.
2) Bumping: is the formation of bubbles while heating a solution to its boiling point that may be harmful as they have the tendency to violently erupt.
Supernatant: is the remaining liquid left over after a precipitate has formed and settled.
Decant: is to separate a mixture, often by pouring out the supernatant to only leave the precipitate left over.
Dissolution: the process of using more chemically

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