Formula Of Sulfate

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Determining the Chemical Formula of Hydrated Copper (Ⅱ) Sulfate Using the Empirical Formula


In this experiment, the molecular formula of hydrated Copper (Ⅱ) Sulfate will be determined.

In order to determine the molecular formula, the empirical formula is needed which is the ratio of moles of one substance to another. In this experiment, it is the ratio of Copper (Ⅱ) Sulfate to water.


The empirical formula can be determined if the moles of the compared substances are calculated and then divided by the smallest mole. Since there are large quantities of particles in any given substance, the mole is a unit used to group particles to make it easier to calculate large numbers. The amount of particles in one mole is
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The mass of the element divided by the total mass of the compound equals to the percent mass.

Percent mass of H₂O = 0.160.355 = 0.45 = 45%

Therefore, the average percent mass of hydrate is 45 percent.

The percent mass calculated in this experiment will not be similar to the results of other groups. Since the percent mass calculated is an average, it is most likely that the number calculated is different from the actual number of hydrates in the formula. In addition, all the masses calculated are subject to possible random errors which would differ our results from those of others. Otherwise, in the theoretical situation, our percent mass would be the same since the amount of hydrate is the same across all
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Since the Copper (Ⅱ) Sulfate is in powdered form, it will naturally diffuse into the air. Therefore, between the time the hydrated compound is measured and the experiment is conducted, there will be a loss of mass. One way to prevent this error is to weigh the mass in a sealed container which would prevent the mass from diffusing into the atmosphere. Another way is to conduct the experiment in a static environment with minimal movement.

Another possible error is if some of the compound is burned during the heating process. This means that some amount of Copper (Ⅱ) Sulfate is oxidized and some mass of oxygen is assumed as the pure anhydrous compound. The mass of the residue will increase which will result in a lower value of hydrate in the molecular formula. One way to prevent this error is to heat the compound slowly, over a smaller flame. Another option is to use an oven or direct sunlight to heat the compound. The oven will allow the heating temperature to be controlled which will prevent burns and limit errors such as loss of mass. The oven will also allow the compound to be spread over a larger surface area which will allow the compound to be evenly heated 4. A third option is to use sunlight which will steadily evaporate hydrate from the compound and eliminate the chance of

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