Essay about Determining The Identity Of 4 Unknown Solutions

Essay about Determining The Identity Of 4 Unknown Solutions

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To determine the identity of 4 unknown solutions, which are acids and bases left behind by a chemical company that closed, the first thing was to determine whether or not each sample was an acid or a base. This was done by taking the pH of each sample using litmus paper. The pH scale ranges from 1-14, with 7 as the middle, neutral pH. Any values over 7 are considered basic because pH is the negative logarithm of the hydronium ion concentration, as seen in the following equation.

pH=-log[H+] [1]

Thus, if there is a low concentration of the hydronium ion, there will be a high pH. According to the bronsted-lowry definition of a base, a base is a species that will take on a hydrogen ion in solution1. So, if there is a low hydronium ion concentration, (and thus, a high pH), the solution has bound to many of the hydrogen ions, so that they are not floating around unbound in the solution. For example, unknown sample 1 had a basic pH because there was a low concentration of hydronium ions in the solution, because the substance will take on hydrogen ions instead of donating them in an aqueous solution. Unknown sample 3 also had a basic pH of 9, as seen in table 1. Therefore, unknown sample 3 also had a low concentration of hydronium ion because the litmus paper indicated it had a pH of 9 and according to equation [1], this means that the hydronium ion concentration was resultingly small, making the sample a base.
On the other hand, unknown samples 2 and 4 had acidic pH’s as indicated by the litmus paper because they had extremely low pH values. Once again according to the bronsted-lowry definition of acids and bases, acids are species that will give off or donate hydrogen ions in solution. So if a species dissociates into a hydr...


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...0.09; the initial pH of windex was 10.55; the initial pH of vinegar was 3.09; the initial pH of extra clean was 11.60. The basic pH of both the windex and extra tough cleaning spray reveal their use as cleaners because basic solutions have the capacity to break apart oily or greasy substances that often contain dirt. As a result, a fabric cloth or sponge used to clean with can easily wipe away the dirt in the grease and oil as the cleaning agent break through it 6. For instance, many windows have oily residue from human hands or birds. The basic windex is able to cut through the oil so that a paper towel can rub it away. Vinegar is acidic because it contains acetic acid which is created from the acetic acid bacterial fermentation of ethanol. This is why vinegar is often used to flavor foods, because it contains such strong noticeable acidic qualities such as smell7.

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