Precipitation Reaction Lab Report

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Precipitation reaction, or otherwise known as double-replacement reaction, is one of the three common types of chemical reactions along with decomposition and combustion. A simple definition for the precipitation reaction would be “atoms from two different compounds switch places” (Lew 40). This means that one of the reactant’s molecule “trades” places with another from another compound to form products, like a precipitate, hence the term double-replacement. A precipitate is usually a solid insoluble product of a reaction, compared to the other soluble aqueous molecules in the formula. Its creation is what characterizes precipitation reactions since it is what the reaction is named after. The precipitates can look like a powdery or gel-like …show more content…
For example, L V. Heilbrunn is a scientist who conducted experiments of a cellular material called protoplasm. Protoplasm is a word that describes the colorless liquid that makes up the living parts of a cell such as the cytoplasm, nucleus, and other organelles. Heilbrunn is interested in protoplasm because he found it a mystery why it behaved so uniquely physically due to its extreme sensitivity. Heilbrunn conducted many experiments with protoplasm, and he realized that even the weakest reagents make a profound increase in the protoplasm’s viscosity. This happens because the cell is broken, and after the protoplasm streams out, a film forms after the droplets. Heilbrunn believes that this film is created by precipitation reactions that occur when the cell’s surrounding is right. For instance, Heilbrunn found that the film only forms when the solvents had calcium present in it. Calcium is one of the cations; with this in mind, Heilbrunn concluded that “apparently the appearance of a film about the exuded droplet of protoplasm is due to some precipitation reaction which involves calcium” (Heilbrunn 298) He also connects that this is the same process for blood clotting in the body. There are still mysteries that surround both topics, but more than likely they will be solved once the world knows more about the precipitation …show more content…
Chemical reactions keep the world alive, and after this research, I realized just how many chemical reactions, especially precipitation reactions, ruled the world. It is such an integral part of daily life, yet we are not even remotely close to realizing it is happening. It was interesting to see that the reaction was able to produce two kinds of films – one photographic, while the other pertains to a biological structure. Another interesting thing was the juxtaposition of the two application examples, and how it taught me that chemistry overlaps with multiple subjects such as physics and biology and even anatomy and much more. This gave me a wider perspective of chemistry’s application. I used to view the subject as a hard and elusive class, but now it is more than just a class. It is the study of how things work in the chemical aspect. It is astounding to realize the magnitude of the reactions happening right now. As I type this research paper, I bet there have been many precipitation reactions that occurred not only in my body, but also in the mechanics of the computer I am

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