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RegentsChemistryLab

Name:

AllotropesofSulfur(20)
Prelabdiscussion: Allotropesaredifferentstructuralformsofthesameelement.Inthecase
ofsolids,differencesinthevisibleformareduetodifferencesinthecrystallinestructure.In
othercases,differencesinformmaybeduetodifferencesinthenumberofatomsina
moleculeofthesubstance,asinoxygengas(O2)andozonegas(O3).Inthisexperiment,you
willpreparetwoallotropicformsofsulfur,andobserveanotherthatwaspreparedforyou.
Thesedifferentformsarepreparedbychangingtheconditionsunderwhichthecrystalsgrow.
Sulfurhasthreeallotropes:Rhombic,Monoclinic(needlelike)andamorphous(noshape,
plastic)

Rhombic:

Monoclinic:

Problem: Whichallotropewasmadebasedonexaminationofthecrystalshape?

Hypothesis: Answerthequestionabove,basedonwhatyouthinkthecrystalwilllooklikefor
eachofthethreeallotropesoncemade.(3)

Procedure: PartsIandIIshouldbeperformedinafumehoodorawellventilatedroom.
PartI
1. Foldapieceoffilterpaperintoacone,placeitinafunnelandwetitslightlysoitwilllay
flat.Placethepaper/funnelintoanironringonaringstand.
2. Coverthetipofaspatulawithpowderedsulfurandplaceitintoapyrextesttube.Using
atesttubeholder,heatthesulfurgentlyandslowlywithaBunsenburnerflameuntilall
sulfurhasmeltedtoformaviscous,paleyellowliquid.
3. Extinguishtheburnerandpourthemoltensulfurintothefilterpaper.Immediatelytake
thepaperoutofthefunnel(careful!donottouchthehotsulfur)unfoldthepaperand
observetheformationofthecrystals.Examinethecrystalswithastereomicroscopeand
recordyourobservationsundertheresultssection.

PartII
1. Halffilla250mlbeakerwithtapwaterandsetittooneside.Usingthesametesttube
asinpartI,addaboutthesameamountofpowderedsulfurtothetesttubeaboutthe
tipofaspatula.
2. Usingthetesttubeholder,heatthesulfurgentlyuntilitisboilinganddarkredincolor.
3. Extinguishtheburner,andpourtheboilingsulfurintothebeakerofwater.Ifthesulfur
startstoburn,continuepouringuntilthetesttubeisempty,andextinguishany
remainingflameonthetesttubewithadamppapertowel.Donotplacethetesttube
underwateryouwillcracktheglass!
4. Examinethesolidformedinthewaterwithaglassstirringrodandastereomicroscope,
andrecordyourobservationsintheresultssection.
PartIII
1. Observethecrystalsmadepreviouslybymeonthefrontlabtable.Theseweremadeby
dissolvingsulfurintolueneandlettingthesolventevaporateoverseveralhours.
2. Recordyourobservationsintheresultssection.
Results:
1. Diagramtheshapeofthesulfurfrompartonebelow:(2)

2. Diagramtheshapeofthesulfurfromparttwobelow:(2)

3. Diagramtheshapeofthesulfurfrompartthreebelow:(2)

Conclusions:
1. Matchtheshapesofrhombic,monoclinicandamorphouscrystalswiththeproductsfrom
partsone,twoandthree.(3)

2. Whydoyouthinkweneededtomeltorboilthesulfurfirst?(2)

3. Differentiatebetweenthetermsallotropeandisotope.(4)

4. Basedonevidencefromthisexperiment,whatdoyouthinktherelationshipisbetween
rateofcoolingandcrystalsize?(2)

AllotropeLab TeacherSupplement
Conclusions:
1. PartIshouldmakemonocliniccrystals
PartII shouldmakeamorphouscrystals
PartIIIshouldmakerhombiccrystals
2. Thepowderedsulfurwillhaveacrystalshapetoiteventhoughishasbeenpowdered.
Melting(andboiling)changesthephaseandthecrystallineshapeislost.
3. allotropesarearrangementsofatomsthatdifferforthesameelement(different
structuralforms).Isotopesareatomsthathaveadifferentnucleus(atomicmass,
numberofneutrons)
4. Slowercoolingresultsinlargercrystals.

Rhombicsulfuristhestableallotropeatroomtemperature.Bycontrollingtheconditions,
otherallotropescanbegrown.

Rhombicsulfurismadebydissolvingatipofaspatulaofsulfurin5mloftoluene.Place
intoahoodandletthetolueneevaporate.Iwouldrecommendmaking4or5ofthesefor
studentobservationatleastonedayaheadofthelabperiod.

Safety:

Tolueneisanirritantandtoxic.Nooneshouldinhalethevapors
SulfurfumesandSO2areproduced,bothofwhicharerespiratoryirritantsifinhaled.
Directstudentstonothavetesttubeneartheirface,openthewindowsintheroom,
orbetteryetperformtheexperimentunderafumehood.
Thislabcanbedoneinentiretyasademonstration.
Testtubesshouldbediscardedattheendofclass.

Eachlabstationshouldhaveastereomicroscope,oratraditionalmicroscopeonlowpower.
Numbersinparenthesisarepointvaluesforgradingoflab.