Topic: Reversible Reactions (D)

1:03 understand how the results of experiments involving the dilution of coloured solutions and diffusion of gases can be explained

Diffusion is the spreading out of particles in a gas or liquid. There is a net movement of particles from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration until a uniform concentration is achieved.


i) dilution of coloured solutions

Dissolving potassium manganate(VII) in water demonstrates that the diffusion in liquids is very slow because there are only small gaps between the liquid particles into which other particles diffuse.

The random motion of particles cause the purple colour to eventually be evenly spread out throughout the water.

Adding more water to the solution causes the potassium manganate(VII) particles to spread out further apart therefore the solutions becomes less purple. This is called dilution.


ii) diffusion experiments

When ammonia gas and hydrogen chloride gas mix, they react together to form a white solid called ammonium chloride.

ammonia                  +              hydrogen chloride                 –>            ammonium chloride

NH3(g)                     +              HCl(g)                                     –>            NH4Cl(s)

A cotton wool pad was soaked in ammonia solution and another was soaked in hydrogen chloride solution. The two pads were then put into opposite ends of a dry glass tube at the same time.

The white ring of ammonium chloride forms closer to the hydrochloric acid end because ammonia particles are lighter than hydrogen chloride particles and therefore travel faster.

Even though these particles travel at several hundred metres per second, it takes about 5 min for the ring to form. This is because the particles move in random directions and will collide with air particles in the tube.

1:30 calculate percentage yield

Yield is how much product you get from a chemical reaction.

The theoretical yield is the amount of product that you would expect to get. This is calculated using reacting mass calculations.

In most chemical reactions, however, you rarely achieved your theoretical yield.

For example, in the following reaction:

     CaCO3     –>            CaO         +           CO2

You might expect to achieve a theoretical yield of 56 g of CaO from 100 g of CaCO3.

However, what if the actual yield is only 48 g of CaO.

By using the following formula, the % yield can be calculated:

    \[yield= \frac{actual\,amount\,of\,product}{theoretical\,amount\,of\,product} \]

    \[yield= \frac{48}{56} \]

    \[yield=0.86 \]

    \[\% yield=86\% \]

2:49 describe a test for the presence of water using anhydrous copper(II) sulfate

Add anhydrous copper (II) sulfate (CuSO4) to a sample.

If water is present the anhydrous copper (II) sulfate will change from white to blue.

3:01 know that chemical reactions in which heat energy is given out are described as exothermic, and those in which heat energy is taken in are described as endothermic

Exothermic: chemical reaction in which heat energy is given out.

Endothermic: chemical reaction in which heat energy is taken in.


(So, in an exothermic reaction the heat exits from the chemicals so temperature rises)


3:02 describe simple calorimetry experiments for reactions such as combustion, displacement, dissolving and neutralisation

Calorimetry allows for the measurement of the amount of energy transferred in a chemical reaction to be calculated.


EXPERIMENT1: Displacement, dissolving and neutralisation reactions

Example: magnesium displacing copper from copper(II) sulfate


  1. 50 cm3 of copper(II) sulfate is measured and transferred into a polystyrene cup.
  2. The initial temperature of the copper sulfate solution is measured and recorded.
  3. Magnesium is added and the maximum temperature is measured and recorded.
  4. The temperature rise is then calculated. For example:
Initial temp. of solution (oC)Maximium temp. of solution (oC)Temperature rise (oC)

Note:  mass of 50 cm3 of solution is 50 g


The cup used is polystyrene because:

polystyrene is an insulator which reduces heats loss


EXPERIMENT2: Combustion reactions

To measure the amount of energy produced when a fuel is burnt, the fuel is burnt and the flame is used to heat up some water in a copper container

Example: ethanol is burnt in a small spirit burner


  1. The initial mass of the ethanol and spirit burner is measured and recorded.
  2. 100cm3 of water is transferred into a copper container and the initial temperature is measured and recorded.
  3. The burner is placed under of copper container and then lit.
  4. The water is stirred constantly with the thermometer until the temperature rises by, say, 30 oC
  5. The flame is extinguished and the maximum temperature of the water is measured and recorded.
  6. The burner and the remaining ethanol is reweighed. For example:
Mass of water (g)Initial temp of water (oC)Maximum temp of water (oC)Temperature rise (oC)Initial mass of spirit burner + ethanol (g)Final mass of spirit burner + ethanol (g)Mass of ethanol burnt (g)

The amount of energy produced per gram of ethanol burnt can also be calculated:

3:11 explain the effects of changes in surface area of a solid, concentration of a solution, pressure of a gas and temperature on the rate of a reaction in terms of particle collision theory

Increasing the surface area of a solid:

  • more particles exposed
  • more frequent collisions
  • increase the rate of a reaction


Increasing the concentration of a solution or pressure of a gas:

  • more particles in same space
  • more frequent collisions
  • increase rate of reaction


Increasing the temperature:

  • particles have more kinetic energy
  • more frequent collisions
  • and a higher proportion of those collisions are successful because the collision energy is greater or equal to the activation energy
  • increase rate of reaction


3:12 know that a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a reaction, but is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction

A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a reaction, but is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction.

3:18 describe reversible reactions such as the dehydration of hydrated copper(II) sulfate and the effect of heat on ammonium chloride

Dehydration of copper(II) sulfate


Heating ammonium chloride

On heating, white solid ammonium chloride decomposes forming ammonia and hydrogen chloride gas. On cooling, ammonia and hydrogen chloride react to form a white solid of ammonium chloride:


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Section 1: Principles of chemistry

      a) States of matter

      b) Atoms

      c) Atomic structure

     d) Relative formula masses and molar volumes of gases

     e) Chemical formulae and chemical equations

     f) Ionic compounds

     g) Covalent substances

     h) Metallic crystals

     i) Electrolysis

 Section 2: Chemistry of the elements

     a) The Periodic Table

     b) Group 1 elements: lithium, sodium and potassium

     c) Group 7 elements: chlorine, bromine and iodine

     d) Oxygen and oxides

     e) Hydrogen and water

     f) Reactivity series

     g) Tests for ions and gases

Section 3: Organic chemistry

     a) Introduction

     b) Alkanes

     c) Alkenes

     d) Ethanol

Section 4: Physical chemistry

     a) Acids, alkalis and salts

     b) Energetics

     c) Rates of reaction

     d) Equilibria

Section 5: Chemistry in industry

     a) Extraction and uses of metals

     b) Crude oil

     c) Synthetic polymers

     d) The industrial manufacture of chemicals

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