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March 14, 2014

Peter Fenger

Determining the

Experiment 13.1
(Change in Enthalpy) of a Chemical Reaction

I. Purpose
The purpose of this experiment is to learn how to experimentally determine the change in enthalpy
(
). Enthalpy is a method for determining the change in energy that occurs in a chemical reaction.
Since enthalpy is abbreviated with an H the change in enthalpy is symbolized by
. This is what
we will try to calculate by doing the following experiment.
II. Hypothesis
If we do a chemical reaction where we react lye with vinegar, then it is possible to experimentally
determine the change in enthalpy (
) of this chemical reaction.
III.Materials/Supplies

Two Styrofoam cups


Thermometer
Vinegar
Mass Scale (preferably high tech)
Measuring tablespoon and teaspoon
Lye
Safety Goggles
Stop watch

IV. Procedure
1. Measure out a relatively small mass of lye, around a teaspoon, this can be harder with a low
tech scale.
2. Nest your two coffee cups as you did in experiment 2.2 to make a calorimeter.
3. Pour 100.0 mL ( cup) of vinegar into your calorimeter.
4. Place your thermometer into the vinegar and let it sit for three minutes, recording the
temperature after those three minutes.
5. Add the a teaspoon of lye, that you measured out on your scale, to the vinegar and stir it.
6. The following reaction should now start to take place: NaOH (s) + C2H4O2 (aq) ---> H2O (l)
+NaC2H3O2 (aq).
7. Read and record the temperature every thirty seconds, once the temperature falls or stays
constant for two consecutive readings you can stop recording the temperature.
8. Now use the following equation to do your calculations: q=mcT; with q being the heat
transferred, m being the mass of the sample being heated up, c being the specific heat of the
thing being heated up, and T is the change in temperature.
9. The specific heat (c) of vinegar is 4.1 J/g x C degrees.
10. The mass of the vinegar in the calorimeter will be it's volume times it's density, add the mass of

March 14, 2014


Peter Fenger
the lye and you will know the mass of the contents in your calimeter.
11. Now subtract the initial temperature from the final temperature to get T.
12. Calculate the heat absorbed by the contents of the calorimeter by plugging in all of the numbers
into the equation q=mcT
13. Because the heat absorbed by the calimeter's contents came from the chemical reaction you
have just calculated the
!
14. Now we have to find the
per mole of NaOH that reacted in the experiment, all we have to
do to do that is to find the number of moles of NaOH that we used and divide that into the
we just calculated.
15. Now take the mass of the lye and divide it by the number of moles of NaOH that you used in
the reaction.
16. Divide the
that you calculated in step #14 by the number of moles you calculated in step
#17. The result is the
of the reaction in Joules/moles.
V. Observation and Data
1. For a teaspoon of lye the mass was about 3.54 grams according to our high tech scale.
2. Now we took our styrofoam cups and placed one styrofoam cup under the other one so that they
would serve as good insulators for this experiment.
3. Then we poured 100mL of our clear vinegar into the styrofoam cups.
4. The initial temperature of our vinegar was 24.2 degrees Celsius.
5-6. As soon as we added a teaspoon of lye and started stirring it with our thermometer the
solution began to react and heat up, showing that it was an endothermic reaction.
7. Our solution leveled out at 45 degrees Celsius after about 3 minutes.
8-10. With our scale we measured the mass of the calorimeter contents and subtracted the mass of
the 2 cups from that. We got a mass of 88.7 grams for both the lye and the vinegar.
11. We then subtracted our initial temperature 24.2 degrees Celsius from our final temperature 46
degrees Celsius which is 20.8 degrees Celsius so our T is 20.8 degrees Celsius.
12. Now we plugged all of our numbers into our equation q=mcT.
13-15. We then calculated the a.m.u. of NaOH to calculate the moles of NaOH that reacted with the
vinegar.
16. Now to find
we divide the
we calculated in step #12 by the number of moles
calculated in step # 15.
VI. Conclusion
Overall, I will try to prove my hypothesis since I have provided all of the information necessary to
solve for
in my data. Attempting to prove: if we do a chemical reaction where we react lye with
vinegar, then it is possible to experimentally determine the change in enthalpy (
) of this chemical
reaction. Let's first start by plugging all of the necessary numbers found in my data into the equation
q=mcT. So: 20.8 C x 4.1 J/grams x C x 88.7 grams = 7564.3 J. Now we need to find the moles of
per moles of NaOH. To do this we first start by calculating the a.m.u. of NaOH which is 40.0
a.m.u. So 1 mole of NaOH = 40.0 grams. So to calculate the moles of NaOH that reacted with the
vinegar we convert from grams to moles: 3.5 grams NaOH x 1 mole/ 40.0 grams NaOH = 0.0875
moles of NaOH. Now to find
we divide the
we calculated by the number of moles calculated.

March 14, 2014


Peter Fenger
So: 7564.3 Joules/ 0.0875 moles = 86449.1 Joules/Moles is
! Proving that: if we do a chemical
reaction where we react lye with vinegar, then it is possible to experimentally determine the change in
enthalpy (
) of this chemical reaction. Proving my hypothesis is correct; amazingly it is possible to
find the enthalpy of a chemical reaction experimentally.