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9, 2013

Iron(II)-Silver Ions System
3Fe + Fe(CN)6 Fe(III)Fe(II)(CN)6Fe3+ + 6SCN- Fe(SCN)2+
Ag+ + Cl- AgCl(s)
Copper-Ammonia System
+ NH3
+ excess NH3
+ HCl

Prussian blue precipitate (Fe2+ is present)
Blood red solution(Fe3+ is present)
White precipitate (Ag+ is present)


Light blue
Dark blue
Dark blue
Light blue

Chromate-Dichromate System

Solution turned orange
2CrO42- + 2H+ Cr2O72- +
No visible reaction

Iron(III) Chloride-Thiocyanate System

Fe3+ + SCN- Fe(SCN)2+
+ Fe3+
Dark orange
+ ClLeft
Cobalt(II) Ions System
+ Cl-

No visible reaction
Solution turned yellow
Cr2O72- + 2OH- 2CrO42+ H2O(l)
Light yellow orange

Carnation pink
Blue violet/lavender


The goal of the experiment is to demonstrate the principles of chemical
equilibrium. Chemical equilibrium means that the forward and reverse rates of the
given reaction are equal. Products are consumed to form reactants and vice versa.
Because of this, the ratio of amounts of reactants and products would stay the same
even if the reaction is still ongoing. A disturbance in equilibrium would cause it to
shift and this effect was also accounted for in the experiment. As stated by Le
Chateliers Principle : When an equilibrium system is subjected to a change in
temperature, pressure, or concentration of a reacting species, the system responds
by attaining a new equilibrium that partially offsets the impact of the change.
The first part of the experiment is the system regarding Iron(II) and Silver.
The balanced equation for this reaction is:
Fe2+ + Ag+ Fe3+ + Ag(s) (1)
The reaction would yield a colorless solution with a white precipitate. The white
precipitate is solid silver. Centrifugation should be done so that the solution would
contain little to none of the traces of the precipitate. This would ensure that the
testing for ions in the solution that would occur later in the experiment would be
conducted properly without interference due to the presence of silver solids.
Drops of the solution would then be used for testing. The first test is to
confirm the presence of Fe2+.
Fe2+ + Fe(CN)63- Fe(III)Fe(II)(CN)6 (2)
The test made use of K3 Fe(CN)6 which yielded a Prussian blue precipitate,
KFe(III)Fe(II)(CN)6. The presence of this precipitate confirmed the presence of Fe 2+.
The next test is for Fe3+. The net ionic equation of its reaction with KSCN is:
Fe3+ + 6SCN- Fe(SCN)2+ (3)
This reaction yielded a blood red solution because of the complex Fe(SCN) 2+.
The last test is for Ag+. It made use of HCl in the reaction shown below:
Ag+ + Cl- AgCl(s) (4)
The presence of the white precipitate which is the AgCl (s) confirmed the presence of
Ag+ in the solution.
By confirming the presence of Fe2+, Fe3+, and Ag+, we have shown that not all
of the reactants were consumed in the forward reaction and not all products were
consumed in the reverse reaction. This is because at equilibrium, the forward and
reverse rates of the reaction are equal therefore products and reactants are
consumed as fast as they are formed. The equilibrium constant, K eq, ranges from 10
to 1010. The Keq varies depending on the activities, or in this case concentrations,
of products and reactants present at the time the reaction attained equilibrium. A
reaction with a Keq greater than 1010 means that the reaction goes to completion
while a Keq less than 10 -10 means that the reaction is not occurring in the forward
direction. Since we see from the experiment that both products and reactants are
present, both forward and reverse reactions must be occurring, thus the K eq should
range from 10 -10 to 1010.
The next part of the experiment is the copper-ammonia system. The balanced
equation for the reaction is:
NH3 + H2O(l) NH4+ + OH- (5)
Cu2+ + OH- Cu(OH) 2(s) (6)
Cu(OH) 2(s) + 4 NH3 Cu(NH3 )42+ + 2OH- (7)
Chemical equation 5 and 6 represents the reaction between copper and ammonia at
the beginning. Ammonia reacts with water to form ammonium ion and hydroxide
ion. The hydroxide ion reacts with the copper ion to form the blue precipitate,

Cu(OH) 2 . This precipitate would be dissolved upon the addition of excess ammonia.
This would result to the blue complex, Cu(NH 3 )42+.
Upon addition of HCl, the blue complex returns to being the light blue
solution, the one that contained the blue precipitate, Cu(OH) 2 . This is because the
H+ ion reacts with the ammonia in the copper complex to form ammonium ions that
cannot react with copper to form the complex. The hydroxide ion reacts with the
copper (II) ion instead and copper(II) hydroxide is formed again.
Cu(NH3 )42+ + H+ Cu(OH) 2(s) + NH4+ (8)
Compared to the number of ammonia drops needed to form the copper (II)
complex, the number of drops of HCl needed to decolorize the solution is relatively
smaller. In the experiment, A total of 9 drops were needed to form the Cu(NH 3 )42+,
however, only 2 drops of HCl was needed to decolorize it. This is because the first
few drops of NH3 are used to form Cu(OH)2. Excess NH3 is needed to form the
complex. On the other hand, with HCl, results are almost immediate since at the
first drop, the H+ from HCl already reacts with NH3 to form NH4+ . Irresponsible
addition of concentrated HCl could lead to errors since only a small amount of acid
is needed for the reaction. An accidentally added extra drop of the acid could cause
the end solution to be colorless instead of light blue. Careful monitoring of drops of
acid added should be done to avoid such errors.
The third part of the experiment is the chromate-dichromate system. The
chromate solution is color yellow while the dichromate solution is color orange.
Upon addition of the acid, H2SO4 the chromate solution changed color from yellow to
orange. The balanced equation for this reaction is:
2CrO42- + 2H+ Cr2O72- + H2O(l) (9)
Sulfuric acid is used for the reaction because sulfuric acid is a strong acid. The fact
that it ionizes completely is useful since only the hydrogen ions of the acid are
needed in the reaction. It is also a diprotic acid meaning it can donate two hydrogen
atoms to the reaction, which is the amount of hydrogen atoms needed. Upon
addition of the base, NaOH, the dichromate solution changed color from orange to
yellow. The balanced reaction for this is:
Cr2O72- + 2OH- 2CrO42- + H2O(l) (10)
When joined with sulfuric acid, the chromate in the yellow chromate solution
accepted the protons donated by the acid. This results in the formation of
dichromate in an orange dichromate solution. On the other hand, the addition of
sodium hydroxide in the orange dichromate solution caused the dichromate to
donate its protons and form chromate in a yellow chromate solution. However, when
sulfuric acid is added to dichromate, the solution is shifted to the side of the
reaction favoring the production of more dichromate ions, thus the solution remains
orange. Same goes for the addition of sodium hydroxide in chromate. The reaction
is shifted to the side favoring production of more chromate ions, thus the yellow
color remains. It is shown here that dichromate is stable in acidic conditions while
chromate is stable in basic conditions.
The next part of the experiment is on iron(III)chloride and thiocyanate. The
balanced equation for this reaction is:
Fe3+ + SCN- Fe(SCN)2+ (11)
Upon addition of more Fe3+, the solution turned a darker shade meaning more of the
product was being produced. Equilibrium shifted to the right to consume the
additional Fe3+ and maintain equilibrium. The same happened upon the addition of
SCN-. The solution turned darker which suggested that more of the product was
being formed, therefore equilibrium also shifted to the right to consume the

additional SCN-. The next case is the addition of saturated NaCl solution. This causes
equilibrium to shift to the left. This is because the Cl - reacts with some Fe3+ leaving
less for the reaction with SCN- to form Fe(SCN)2+ . To maintain equilibrium, some of
the product needs to be consumed, thus the equilibrium shifts to the left which is
the reactant side.
The last part of the experiment is the Co2+ system. The balanced reaction for
this is:
[Co(H2O)6]2+ + 4 Cl- CoCl42- + 6H2O(l) (12)
In the reaction, Co2+ is pink while CoCl42- is blue. The solution is pink at first because
of the presence of Co2+, however, when the temperature of the solution is raised,
the equilibrium shifts to the right which causes the formation of CoCl 42- which is
blue. The forward reaction is an endothermic one since the temperature raise
causes the formation of more products. With addition of HCl, though, it is shown
that the both products and reactants are present because of the lavender color of
the resulting solution.


The first part of the experiment confirmed the presence of both reactant and
product ions. This signifies that in a chemical reaction, both forward and reverse
reactions could occur simultaneously. The second part of the experiment showed
that upon the addition of HCl, the equilibrium shifted to favor the reverse reaction.
This shows that in the addition of an acid to a basic solution, it favors the reverse
acidic reaction.
The third system showed that some species are more stable in acidic medium
and some are more stable in basic medium. For example, in the experiment, we can
see that in an acidic solution, dichromate has a tendency to form from chromate.
Dichromate is stable in an acidic solution since we can see that the addition of an
acid yielded no visible effect on the reaction. The opposite happens with chromate
which is stable in a basic solution and reacts to form dichromate in an acidic one.
This system demonstrates that the acidity or the basicity of the medium affects
whether the reverse or forward reaction is favored.
The fourth system demonstrated how concentration affects the reaction. An
increase in the concentration of a reactant or a product causes the equilibrium to
shift to favor the reaction in which the additional moles of reactant or product would
be consumed. In the experiment, the solutions normal color is orange. When
iron(III) ions or thiocyanate ions were added in the solution, this caused the
equilibrium to shift to the side where the ions would be consumed. This caused the
darker coloring of the overall solution. The addition of chloride ion on the other
hand, reacted with iron(III), therefore lessening the available iron(III) for the
reaction. This caused the equilibrium to shift to the opposite side causing the lighter
color of the solution.
The last system showed the effect of temperature on equilibrium. The
reaction was an endothermic one, meaning that it absorbs heat. When heat is
introduced in the solution, it causes the equilibrium to shift to the forward reaction.
Its reverse reaction is an exothermic one. Exothermic reactions, on the other hand,
are more favored in lower temperatures. The addition of HCl yielded a lavender
colored solution, meaning that the pink Co2+ and CoCl42- are both present. When
heated, the solution was blue. This means that the reaction went to completion and
only CoCl42- is present.
Petrucci R. et al. General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications, 10th ed.;
Pearson Education South Asia: Singapore, 2010.
Institute of Chemistry. General Chemistry II Laboratory Manual.
Purdue University, College of Science. html (accessed Jan 10,
TMW Educational Media Distributors.
% 20Guide%2022.pdf (accessed Jan 12, 2013).

UW Madison-Department of Chemistry. Text13/Tx135/tx135.html
(accessed Jan 12, 2013).