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1. Experiment Details
Experiment Title: Synthesis of Barium Sulphate (BaSO4)
2. Data-Time Group (DTG)
To produce a pure sample of Barium Sulphate (BaSO4) of at least 0.50
4. Apparatus & Materials
Barium Nitrate, Ba(NO3)2
Sulphuric Acid, H2SO4
Lab equipment used:
Glass beakers (2)
Filter paper (5)
Conical flask (1)
1. Collect 50 cm3 of Sulphuric Acid and 50 cm3 of Barium Nitrate in
2. Add the Barium Nitrate to the Sulphuric Acid [Time taken for
steps 1 and 2: 1 minute]
3. Stir the resultant mixture to ensure that the chemicals are
completely reacted. The salt produced is insoluble and will remain
at the bottom of the beaker. [Time taken: 2 minutes]
4. Leave the mixture for several minutes to allow the products to
sink to the bottom of the beaker. [Time taken: 2-3 minutes]
5. Pour away as much of the top layer of water as possible to speed
up the filtration. [Time taken; 1 minute]
6. Filter the BaSO4 into the conical flask using the filter paper
and funnel. Ensure there is a gap between the conical flask and
the funnel at all times, to allow for the free movement of air.
[Time taken: 30 minutes]
7. Press-dry the BaSO4 crystals in-between several layers of filter
paper. [Time taken: 1 day]
8. When the BaSO4 crystals are dry enough, use a plastic spatula to
scrape off the salt into a small plastic bag and seal tightly.
After adding the H2SO4 to the Ba(NO3)2, an opaque white mixture was
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insoluble. After leaving the mixture to settle for awhile as described
in step 4, the products in the beaker were separated into two distinct
layers: at the top was water, while at the bottom was the opaque white
mixture. At this point in time, I was still unable to see the BaSO4.
During filtration, the BaSO4 was left on the filter paper as residue
and after filtration was complete I was able to collect most of it
once it had dried. When I attempted to scrape off the BaSO4 using the
spatula, I found that some of the filter paper had stuck together, as
well as finding that some parts of the salt were hard to remove.
7. Evaluation and Conclusion
Information on BaSO4
Barium Sulphate (BaSO4), is an ionic compound, insoluble in water with
a melting point of 1580o C.
BaSO4 is commonly used as an agent for X-ray imaging and other
diagnostic procedures. It is most often used in imaging of the
gastrointestinal tract and is usually administered, orally or by
enema, as a suspension of fine particles in an aqueous solution.
BaSO4 mixtures are also used as white pigment for paints, when they
are combined with zinc oxide (ZnO) the resultant product is known as
lithopone, while when combined with sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) it is
known as blanc fixe. BaSO4 is also used as a filler in plastics and as
a component of oil well drilling fluid to increase the density.
Finally, BaSO4 is also used as a high temperature oxidizer in certain
pyrotechnic formulas, as it produces a green colored light while it
I feel that while I made several fundamental mistakes during the
procdure, none of them eventually affected the final product. For
instance, I added 100 cm3 of both H2SO4 and Ba(NO3)2 instead of 50 cm3.
This resulted in having more than enough to filter, which eventually
resulted in some of the reactants being wasted.
I also omitted to carry out step 4, and only much later did I realise
that the top layer of water could be poured away safely. This resulted
in a lot of time wasted filtering the unwanted water. Had this time
not been wasted, I might have been able to filter more BaSO4
At some stages of the experiment, I also neglected to leave a space
between the conical flask and the funnel for air to escape. This
resulted in the rate of filtration being slowed down and at one point
it even stopped completely.
Finally, I also feel that I was too slow in carrying out some areas of
the experiment, e.g. the collection of chemicals
However, in future, I will take action to avoid repeating these
mistakes. For example, I will make sure I take only what is necessary
for the conducting of the experiment, and also ensure that I will get
rid of any substances that can be safely removed before proceeding,
e.g. the layer of water. I will also try make sure there is enough
room for air to flow freely during filtration, and also aim to carry
out all aspects of my experiment with a sense of urgency.
In conclusion, I made several mistakes which, while they did not
affect the quality of the final product, decreased the efficiency of
my experiment. I feel that I have learned a lot from this experiment,
and in future I will take note to avoid the mistakes I made this time.
I would like to thank Mr Glynn Tan for his advice during the planning
stages before the experiment. He also helped in the verification of
certain facts and in the clarification of any doubts I had.
I would also like to thank Mr Bill Chia for his helpful advice during
the actual experiment and also for announcement of important
precautions to take note of. This helped me to avoid any common
mistakes I might have made during the procedure.
Finally, I would also like to thank my classmates, Ding Si Yan and
Daniel Yeang for their kind assistance in helping me clarify any
doubts I had during the writing of this report.