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Experiment 1: Calorimetry

Introduction

Chemical and physical processes are often accompanied by either evolution or absorption of heat. The
heat involved in these processes can be measured using the device called calorimeter. A calorimeter is
composed of an insulated container, a thermometer, and a stirrer. The calorimeter is filled with water
which acts as a heat source or sink. The change in the temperature of the water is related to the amount
of heat absorbed or released by the system.

Let’s consider the process being studied, the calorimeter, and the water inside as the system. This makes
the system to be classified as adiabatic. A system is adiabatic when heat is not lost to its surroundings, i.e.
anything outside the calorimeter. This means to say that heat exchange only happens between the
process being studied, the calorimeter, and the water inside.

dqsystem = qprocess + qwater + qcal = 0 Eqn. 1

qprocess = - (qwater + qcal) Eqn. 2

Because the calorimeter is made of insulating materials, we can assume that the heat absorbed or
released by the calorimeter is negligible, that is, q cal ≈ 0. This simplifies Eqn. 2 to Eqn. 3.

qprocess = - qwater Eqn. 3

Suppose the process being studied is the cooling or heating of a metal, then we can say write q process as
qmetal and we can calculate the heat involved using Eqn. 4.

qmetal = mmetalcmetalΔTmetal Eqn. 4

Where mmetal is the mass of the metal, cmetal is the specific heat of the metal, and ΔTmetal is the difference
in the final and initial temperature of the metal.

Likewise, we can calculate the heat gained or released by the water using an equation similar to Eqn.
4.

qwater = mwatercwaterΔTwater Eqn. 5

Where mwater is the mass of the water, cwater is the specific heat of water which is 4.184 J/goC, and ΔTwater
is the difference in the final and initial temperature of water.

Substituting Eqns. 4 and 5 to Eqn. 3, we get:

mmetalcmetalΔTmetal = - mwatercwaterΔTwater Eqn. 6

By using Eqn. 6, one can determine the specific heat of any metal through calorimetry.

When a compound dissolves in water, it can either release or absorb heat. The heat involved in this
process is called heat of solution, qsoln. The heat of solution can also be measured through calorimetry.

qsoln = - mwatercwaterΔTwater Eqn. 7

By dividing qsoln with the moles of compound dissolved in water, one can get the molar heat of solution,
ΔHsoln.

ΔHsoln = qsoln/nsollute Eqn. 8


Experiment 1: Calorimetry
In this experiment, you will determine the specific heat capacity of copper and the molar heat of
dissolution of NH4Cl though calorimetry.

Reagents and Materials

Copper sheet Distilled water Tripod


Coffee cup calorimeter Graduated cylinder Bunsen burner
NH4Cl Top loading balance Wire gauze
Forceps Beaker Thermometer

Procedure
Part I: Determination of Specific Heat Capacity of Copper

1. Measure 20.00 mL distilled water and transfer it to the calorimeter.


2. Cover the calorimeter and wait until the temperature is constant. Record this as your initial
temperature of water, initial Twater.
3. Weigh the copper metal. Record its mass, mCu.
4. Place the copper metal in a beaker containing water.
5. Bring the water to a boil.
6. Measure the actual temperature of the boiling water. Record this as your initial temperature of
copper, initial TCu.
7. Using forceps, quickly transfer the heated copper into the calorimeter.
8. Immediately cover the calorimeter and swirl the content.
9. Record the temperature for 5 minutes with 30 seconds interval or until the last three (3) temperature
readings become constant. Record this as your final temperature.

Part II: Determination of Molar Heat of Solution of NH4Cl

1. Measure 20.00 mL distilled water and transfer it to the calorimeter.


2. Cover the calorimeter and wait until the temperature is constant. Record this as you initial
temperature of water, initial Twater.
3. Weigh 1.00 gram (to the nearest +/- 0.01 g) NH4Cl. (Note: In case more than 1.00 gram was measured,
just record the actual mass of NH4Cl)
4. Transfer the weighed NH4Cl into the coffee cup calorimeter.
5. Immediately cover the calorimeter and swirl the contents thoroughly.
6. Record the temperature for 5 minutes with 30 seconds interval or until the last three (3) temperature
readings become constant. Record this as our final temperature.

Waste Disposal

1. Recover copper metal and return it to your teacher.


2. Dispose of NH4Cl to sink with copious amount of water.

Questions

1. What is the specific heat capacity of copper?


2. The specific heat capacity of copper is 0.3846 J/g oC. How much does your experimental result
deviate from the theoretical value?
3. What is the molar heat of solution of NH4Cl?
4. The theoretical molar heat of solution of NH4Cl is 14.7 kJ/mol. How much does your experimental result
deviate from the theoretical value?
5. Provide explanations for the observed deviations of the experimental values to the theoretical ones.