Which Hydrated Salts is Best at Providing Water

Which Hydrated Salts is Best at Providing Water

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Aim:The aim of this investigation is to find which of the hydrated
salts is best at providing water and to justify the choice made.

Key factors:

* The variable that I will change will be the salt that I use in my

* The variable that will change will be the weight of salt after
hydration and the amount of water lost when each salt is heated.

Other factors:

* Not over heating salt: I should not over heat the salt as it may
start to decompose the salt. I will observe when to stop heating
my salt i.e when all the water has evaporated.

* Temperature of water: when I am rehydrating the salts I will need
to make sure that each 10ml of tap water I use is the same
temperature if it is not this will create unfair results. To check
that it is all the same I will take the temperature of each 10ml I

* Amount of water: In order to keep this a fair test I will need to
make sure there is the same amount of water in each test tube I
use, if I do not then I will get unfair results.

* Amount of salts: I will need to keep the amount of salts the same
as if I use more for one test tube and less for another I will
create unfair results.

* Cleanliness of salt: if there are impurities on the salt then it
will take a longer time to release the water, also I will not have
measured the correct amount of pure salt as the impurities will
have been included in the measurement.

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* Accuracy of equipment: if the scales I use in this experiment are
miscalibrated then I will get an incorrect reading, in order to
make sure that I will get a correct reading I will calibrate the
scales before use.

* Reading of thermometer: in order to get a correct reading from my
thermometer then I will need to hold the thermometer at a 90°

List of equipment:

* 10ml test tube

* 1 set of scientific scales

* 1 thermometer

* 6 test tubes

* Test tube rack

* Glass rod

* Spatula

* Safety mat

* Bunsen burner


* Safety glasses

* Long hair tied back

* Use safety matt under Bunsen burner


Analysis of results:

I can see by looking at the results I recorded and the graph I have
drawn that salt E was the best at providing water when heated. I can
see this by looking at my graph showing that salt E had the most
amount of water available and its mass reduction was the highest
showing that it released a high amount of water. By looking at the
tables containing the results from experiment two; I can see that salt
D needed the lowest temperature to give off its water. However if I
combine the two tables from experiment 1 and 2, I can see that the
reason for this was because salt D had only a small amount of water to
give off therefore it did not need a large amount of energy. Salt E
however did need a larger amount of energy than salt D but due to its
large amount of water being given off. If we were to take this into
account then we would see on the whole that salt E needed the least
amount of heat energy to release the most amount of water.

Any compound, which contains water in the form of H20 molecules, is
capable of dissolving; the best-known hydrates are those that are
crystalline solids, which loose their basic structure on the removal
of bound water. However, the reason that salt E was the best at
providing water was because salt E is made of sodium which is an
alkali earth metal this makes salt E soluble and combined with
carbonate it becomes sodium carbonate (Na2Co3). Even though carbonates
are insoluble, anything (compound) containing an alkali earth metal
will be soluble. So if sodium carbonate (Na2Co3) were to be added to
water it will readily dissolve. This explains why sodium carbonate,
salt E was the best at providing water; because if you were to have a
certain amount of water then more of salt E would dissolve in the
water than salts B and D meaning that more of the salt could fit into
a certain amount of water than the other two metals.


As I did the experiment twice I believe my results are reasonably
reliable as, by calculating averages I was able to eliminate any
one-off errors that may have occurred during the experiment, and
averaging my results also made them more accurate therefore more
reliable. I believe my observations and recordings are accurate and
reliable enough to base a firm conclusion on. And I believe if someone
were to repeat these experiments I do believe that their results would
be relatively close to mine, as they are reasonably similar when I
repeated each experiment myself. I do not believe however that there
is sufficient evidence to draw more than one graph, as I am able to
analyse the evidence just by looking at the tables and I believe that
the tables contain a sufficient amount of evidence to base my
conclusion on. No graphs are needed to show hidden patterns in the
data so not much can be said in the analysis about graphs drawn to
represent data.

I believe that all my equipment was accurate and the readings that I
recorded were also. I have reason to believe this, as I made sure I
calibrated the scales before each time I used them and the measuring
cylinder was very accurate as it measured to the nearest ml. I may
however have gained some false readings from the thermometer although
I did try and hold it as close to 90° as I could but I had nothing to
measure my accuracy with.

On the whole I believe my experiment went well as I found the
instructions for the method easy to follow. I did however find it hard
when we reydrated the salts and had to add the water because some of
the salts were extremely hard to break up. Therefore in order to break
them up we needed to use a glass rod but also take the temperature of
the reaction at the same time.

If I were to make any changes the method then I would change the
sentence which says "check that no water can be seen anywhere in the
tube if there is warm to evaporate it" as I do not believe it is clear
enough, it could say, " stop heating when all the steam has gone and
reweigh". I would also change the part which says "allow to cool and
reweigh". I believe this is very dangerous as someone may touch the
test tube to make sure it is cool and if the it is still hot then it
may burn him or her. I believe it needs to have a time limit as to
when the test tube would be cool or instructions that say to take the
temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is cool. I do not think
that any further work can be done as I believe that the experiment
produced a sufficient amount of evidence to base a firm conclusion on.

If I were to do the experiment again I would make sure I had equipment
that checked the accuracy of what I was doing. I would also do the
experiment three times instead of twice as I could then calculate
averages that could be extremely reliable.
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