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Copper Reaction Lab Report

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As a young man, Ira Remsen was intrigued by science, leading him to perform an experiment that he saw in a textbook. This experiment involves a series of chemistry topics, triggered by the reaction that occurs between nitric acid and copper. The experiment involves an elevated flask, plug, a hose, and a container of water the set up is diagrammed below: Initially, place a copper penny in the flask then, standing by with the hose and plug, pour nitric acid into the flask and immediately seal. A green liquid and red gas will form inside the flask, until the pressure decreases, the water is forced up into the flask from the container below. When the water enters the flask, it neutralizes the solution in the bottom and dissolves the noxious gas. The final product is a blue liquid. There are many principles that are demonstrated by this experiment. …show more content…

The result is an exothermic reaction that dissolves the copper. As the copper is oxidized, there are two products: copper(II) nitrate solution and nitrogen dioxide. These can be seen the image below, the green liquid is the copper(II) nitrate solution and the red gas is nitrogen dioxide. 3Cu(s) + 2NO –(aq) + 8H+(aq) → 3Cu2+(aq) + 4H O(l) + 2NO(g) 32 The nitrogen oxide reacts with oxygen to create the nitrogen dioxide. 2NO(g) + O2(g) → 2NO2(g) As the NO2 gas pressure increases, it bubbles through the basic (pink) solution in the cylinder. Nitrogen dioxide is very soluble in water. As it dissolves, it reacts with the water to form nitric acid, which lowers the pH of the solution as it is

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