Essay on Investigation to Identify the Formula of Hydrated Copper Sulphate

Essay on Investigation to Identify the Formula of Hydrated Copper Sulphate

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Investigation to Identify the Formula of Hydrated Copper Sulphate

Aim: I plan to investigate the formula of Hydrated Copper Sulphate
and, more importantly, what x stands for in the formula (CuSO4.xH2O).
This will tell me how many molecules of water surround each molecule
of Copper Sulphate. To do this I plan to work out the amount of water
a set mass of Hydrated Copper Sulphate loses when it becomes
anhydrous. I will work this out by measuring the difference in mass
between the two states. And thus ascertain the degree of hydration.

I predict that because it is hydrated copper sulphate and it is blue
that it will contain water of crystallization surrounding the copper
sulphate. The number of water molecules per copper sulphate molecule
should fall somewhere between 1 and 5 as 1:5 is the largest ratio of
copper sulphate to water this molecule can contain.


MATERIALS: Hydrated copper (II) sulphate


§ Heatproof mat,

§ Tripod,

§ Bunsen burner,

§ Pipe clay triangle,

§ Crucible,

§ Metal tongs,

§ Glass mixing rod,

§ Spatula,

§ Electronic-Balance

SAFETY: Lab coat and safety glasses to be worn at all times
and care to be taken when handling hot objects.


1. Set up apparatus as shown in the diagram.

2. Find the mass of crucible by itself.

3. Place 2-3 spatulas of Copper sulphate into the crucible.

4. Find the mass of the crucible and copper sulphate.

5. Work out the difference in mass to find the mass of the copper

6. Heat until powder has gone white but do not...

... middle of paper ...

...h development of the sample, and
more frequent processing on the scales. Another main improvement that
could be implemented had the equipment been available would be to
completely automate the experiment to remove the degree of human
error. This would involve using very accurate robotic machines to
precisely measure the amount of copper sulphate used and the mass of
everything. It would also heat it for the exact amount of time to
prevent burning (oxidization) or to not be fully dehydrated.

In addition to this, either repetition of the experiment to obtain a
broader spread of results or a collation of class results may have
yielded more accurate results, as the mean of the results would
probably have given a ratio for hydrated copper (II) sulfate much
closer the accepted literature value of 1 : 5, or CuSO4 · 5H2O.

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