An Investigation Into The Effect Of An Electric Current On Copper Sulphate Solution

An Investigation Into The Effect Of An Electric Current On Copper Sulphate Solution

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An Investigation Into The Effect Of An Electric Current On Copper Sulphate Solution


In this experiment my aim is to enforce and develop ideas about the
investigation into the effect of an electrical current through copper
sulphate solution.


- Electricity is dangerous
- Aware of coppers sharp edges
- Long hair tied back
- Use of acids in experiment


1) Weigh the cathode

2) Set up apparatus below

3) After a minute, remove the copper and shake off the excess copper
sulphate solution. Wipe the copper with acetone and waft in the air to
remove as much of the solution as possible.

4) Weigh the cathode again and record results. Repeat this procedure
for the other currents.

The anode does not need to be changed


I predict that as you increase the voltage the mass of the cathode
will increase. However much the cathode increases in mass the anode
will increase in mass proportionately. I also think that the change in
mass will be directly proportional to the charge giving a straight
line that passes through the origin.

Justification Of Prediction

I think the increase of voltage will result in the increased mass of
the cathode. This is because the higher the voltage, the more
electrons are 'pulled' off the anode therefore more can be deposited
onto the cathode resulting in a higher mass. Theoretically as you
double the voltage the mass should double giving us a graph, which
goes through the origin. Using the equation Cu² - 2e Cu (s) we know
that 1 mole of copper ions requires 2 moles of electrons to produce 1
mole of copper metal. We can also use the equation to predict how much
copper should be deposited. The formula is:

½ x I x T


Next I will show a results table of predicted results, based on the
formulas I have given. This will be useful when I have my actual
results as I can compare these to what the ideal results should be,
and then evaluate whether I have valid results.




By using the equation, 'Cu² - 2e’ Cu (s)' and the formula Q = I x T
/ 95600 we can work out how much copper should have been deposited.

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Once we have found out the charge (Q) we divide it by 2. This is
because you have 2 moles of electrons to 1 mole of copper. This is
proven by the equation ' moles = mass / R.A.M (relative atomic mass).'
The ratio of this being 2:1 as the moles of electrons equals out to be
half of the moles in the outcome of copper deposited, proved by the
formula, ' moles of electrons = Q / 95600.' We find these formulas
from the first formula I gave: 'Cu²- 2e’ Cu (s)'.

The graph shows a relationship between charge and the mass deposited.
As the charge increases, more electrons are removed from the anode.
This enables more copper ions to move across to the cathode and
therefore be deposited, increasing the mass. Also I had predicted the
mass to be directly proportional to the increase of charge, but this did
not happen. We can find our mistakes by looking through the procedure.
I think that when we were drying the cathode, we accidentally left some
of the copper sulphate present, which added to the mass when weighed.


Our experiment gave us 10 results, which were averaged down to 5
points to plot on the graph and evaluate from. The results we
collected were not as we had expected and in places fell quite a way
from the line. I have circled the points I feel to be anomalous, and I
will now explain how I perceive we found them. I think that my odd
results were due to human error. It is the last two results I believe
to be odd, which may explain something. I think it was the last two
results that were wrong as it was towards the end of the experiment
that we had less time, and therefore weren't as careful drying the
copper as we could have been. To make the results more reliable I
would have liked to weigh the anode each time, and compare it to the
weight of the cathode to make sure if the loss was equal to the gain.
I think that bigger cathodes would gain accuracy, and also making sure
that the cathode and anode stayed the same distance away from each
other throughout the experiment. If I could explore this experiment
more thoroughly I would investigate a greater range of currents and
voltages. Also different concentrations of copper sulphate solution.
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