976 Words2 Pages

The Molecular Formula of Succinic Acid

The relative formula mass is the mass of 1 molecule of succinic acid

compared with 1/12th of the mass of an atom of carbon-12. This is

obtained by adding together the relative atomic masses of the atoms

within the molecule according to its written formula. However we do

not know the exact formula:

HOOC(CH )nCOOH Where n is a whole number

between 1 and 4

So to calculate the relative formula mass I must use the formula m = n

×Mr and rearrange it to make Mr the subject Mr = m

n

However I do not know the number of moles for a given mass. I can

calculate this by preparing a standard solution of the acid and

performing a titration experiment.

Firstly I would like to calculate a likely value of the relative

formula mass given the information above.

Suppose n = 3 then HOOC(CH ) COOH and Mr = 1+(2 x

16)+12+(3x12)+(3x2)+12+(2x16)+1

= 132

To perform the titration I have chosen to use equal concentrations of

acid and alkali at 0.1mols/dm³. This is a low concentration as the

more concentrated the solution, the more rapidly the reaction takes

place. This can be explained by the collision theory as increasing the

concentration of the reactants increases the number of particles

resulting in an increased number of collisions. If the reaction takes

place too rapidly then it will be difficult to identify the exact

point at which the alkali is neutralised and the results will become

less accurate.

To prepare my acid solution I must dissolve an accurately weighed

amount of anhydrous succinic acid to 250cm³/0.25dm³ of water to

achieve a concentration of 0.1mols/dm³. What mass of acid is required

to achieve this concentration?

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