Producing Carbon Dioxide from a Metal Carbonate

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Producing Carbon Dioxide from a Metal Carbonate

Metal Carbonate Metal Oxide + Carbon Dioxide

Thermal decomposition ‘is when a substance breaks down into simpler

substances when heated, often with the help of a catalyst. It’s

different from a reaction because there’s only one substance to start

with’. I came across this information in the EDEXCEL Modular Science

revision guidebook 1. Thermal decomposition is the breakdown of a

substance using thermal energy, this is not a reaction.

Preliminary experiment

Limewater and copper carbonate were used to see if a metal carbonate

beaks down to produce carbon dioxide.

This is what the experiment looked like:

The equation for this:

CaCo3(s) CuO(s) + Co2 (g)

This experiment was to see if carbon dioxide was produced from a metal

carbonate. In this case copper carbonate was used. Two test tubes were

linked together by a rubber tube, which had a glass pipe coming out of

the cork that prevented any of the carbon dioxide or any other gas

from escaping. As you can see from the diagram in one tube there was

limewater that was to test for the carbon dioxide, and in the other

was copper carbonate. If there were carbon dioxide present, the

limewater would turn cloudy (white in colour). When I was observing

what happened I could see that there was carbon dioxide present

because the limewater turned cloudy.

Secondary Experiment

This experiment was to compare the rates of decomposition of several

metal carbonates. Several metal carbonates were placed in a test tube

and linked to a syringe that measured the amount of carbon dioxide gas

when the metal carbonates were heated.

This experiment is to see how fast metal carbonates will break down to

produce carbon dioxide.

The reason they break don’t break down at the same time is because

more reactive ones don’t want to break up. So the longer it holds onto

its carbonate the more reactive the metal is.

In this experiment there are a few factors that can affect the results

of the experiment. These factors can make the results of the

experiment be incorrect. The factors that can affect the experiment


1 Water

2 Amounts of powder

3 Distance the flame is away from the metal carbonate

Water can affect the results because it can get into the powder, which

can speed up a reaction.

If different amounts of the substance are used, then the results can

be affected because the more amount of powder there is, the more

carbon dioxide will be produced.


In this experiment I plan to use 1/500 of a mole. This is because if

anything greater is used then the amount is too great and the results

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