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Practical 5 Aim: To investigate the effect of concentration on the electromotive force of a cell Hypothesis: Electromotive force of cell is increase

when concentration of aqueous zinc is decrease. Variable: Manipulated Variable: Concentration of aqueous zinc nitrate Responding Variable: electromotive force of cell Fixed Variable: concentration of aqueous copper (II) nitrate Materials: EC 1 is 1.0 mol dm-3 aqueous copper (II) nitrate; EC 2 is 2.0 mol dm-3 aqueous zinc nitrate; EC 3 is 1.0 mol dm-3 aqueous zinc nitrate; EC 4 is 0.1 mol dm-3 aqueous zinc nitrate; EC 5 is 0.01 mol dm-3 aqueous zinc nitrate; EC 6 is 0.001 mol dm-3 aqueous zinc nitrate. A saturated solution of potassium chloride Apparatus: 2V accumulator, potentiometer, jockey, zinc plate, copper plate, 100cm 3 measuring cylinder, 100cm3 beaker, filter paper, galvanometer, connecting wires with crocodile clips. Safety precaution: 1. Do not slide the jockey along the length of the potentiometer wire 2. Filter paper should be saturated with solution potassium chloride 3. Use direct current during the experiment 4. Does not conduct experiment when hands are wet and be careful of the current shock by not trying the higher voltage such as 12V.

Procedure: 1. Beaker A is filled with 50.0cm3 of EC 1 and beaker B with 50cm3 of EC 2 by using measuring cylinder. 2. A strip of filter paper is immerse into the saturated solution of potassium chloride; then the ends of the filter paper is then dip into the two beakers A and B to build a salt bridge. 3. The copper and zinc plates are clean with sandpaper, wash with distilled water and let it dry. 4. The copper plate is clip with the crocodile clip and it is connect to the end of the potentiometer to which the positive terminal of the accumulator is connected. 5. Zinc metal is connected to the galvanometer to which a jockey is attached 6. The negative terminal of the accumulator is then connected to the other end of the potentiometer as shown in Figure 5. 7. The two metal plates is dip into their respective solutions. After one minute has elapsed, the jockey is touch along the length of the potentiometer wire until the galvanometer shows a zero reading indicating no current flow. Do not slide the jockey along the length of the potentiometer wire to avoid a build up of resistance. 8. Note down the length of the potentiometer wire as x cm and reading is record in the table below. 9. The experiment above is repeated by replacing solution EC 2 with solutions as shown in the table below. New filter paper is to be used for every new solution. 10. E cell is calculate by using the following formula

E cell

X x 2v Lengthofpotentiometerwire


Result: Length of potentiometer wire = 80cm Experiment 1 2 3 4 5 E cell = = Beaker A 50cm3 EC 1 50cm3 EC 1 50cm3 EC 1 50cm3 EC 1 50cm3 EC 1 Beaker B 50cm3 EC 2 50cm3 EC 3 50cm3 EC 4 50cm3 EC 5 50cm3 EC 6 Length of wire, x/cm 41 42 43 43.5 E cell / V 1.03 1.050 1.075 1.088 [Zn2+] /moldm-3 1.0 0.1 0.01 0.001

X x 2v Lengthofpotentiometerwire

41 X2 80

= 1.03V Discussion:

Electromotive force is often referring as cell voltage also written as e.m.f where it is the maximum potential difference between two electrodes of a galvanic or voltaic cell. Voltage cell is a simple device where chemical energy converts to the electrical energy. The e.m.f value related to the tendency for an element, a compound or ions to acquire or release electrons. Under non standard condition where the concentration is not equal to 1 Molar, the calculation should be use Nernst equation to obtain the e.m.f value. However, in this experiment, the e.m.f values are calculated by using the formula given in the procedure. There are a lot of factor which affecting the e.m.f values such as concentration of aqueous, pressure, pH and temperature. Therefore, when it involve the changing of any item listed above, the voltage cell become a non standard condition and the Nernst equation should be apply in it. As the aim of the experiment is using a voltaic cell to investigate the effect of concentration on electromotive force, therefore, the concentration for the aqueous zinc nitrate has change so that the effect of concentration can be found out. In short, by using overall ionic equation, we can have a better view about the cell: Overall equation: Cu2+ (aq) + Zn (s) Cu(s) + Zn2+ (aq)

The e.m.f of cell under standard condition: E = E - E




= (+0.34) (- 0.76) = 1.10V As the concentration of Zn2+ (aq) decrease, the equilibrium of the above equation will shift from the left to the right to reach equilibrium state. That is,

more Zinc from the electrode will release the electron to form zinc ions and make the solution as well as the electrode which stay in touch with it to be more negative charge. Hence, the electrode potential of the zinc half cell will be more negative. As a result of that, the potential different, thus the different between the two half cell will increase. Hence, the e.m.f. values will be greater than 1.10V. In the nut shell, when we decreasing the concentration of the product ions which is aqueous zinc nitrate, the e.m.f value of the cell will be increase. The experiment used salt bridge to connect both aqueous where it make the circuit complete. Meanwhile, the potentiometer is used to detect the length in potentiometer where require by the cell as the concentration is decreasing. The experiment can be improved by not slide the jockey along the potentiometer wire.

Conclusion: When the concentration of aqueous zinc decrease, the e.m.f is increase where concentration of 1.0moldm-3 aqueous zinc is 1.03; 0.1moldm-3 aqueous zinc is 1.050; 0.01moldm-3 aqueous zinc is 1.075; 0.001moldm-3 aqueous zinc is 1.088.

Questions: 1. Write a cell diagram for the electrochemical system

Zn I Zn2+ , II Cu2+, I Cu 2. Write half ionic equations for the reactions taking place in beakers A and B and hence write an equation for the overall cell reaction. Beaker A: Cu2+(aq) + 2e- Cu (s) Beaker B: Zn (s) Zn2+ (aq) + 2eOverall equation: Cu2+ (aq) + Zn (s) Cu(s) + Zn2+ (aq)

3. Plot a graph of E cell against lg[Zn2+] in beaker B and explain how the emf of the cell varies with the concentration of Zn 2+ in beaker B.
Graph of Ecell against lg[Zn2+] 1.1 1.088 1.075 1.05 1.08 Ecell 1.06 1.04 1.03 1.02 1 -3 -2 lg[Zn2+] -1 0 E

E cell 1.03 1.050 1.075 1.088

[Zn2+] /moldm-3 1.0 0.1 0.01 0.001

lg[Zn2+] 0 -1 -2 -3

When the concentration of the Zn2+ is decrease, the e.m.f value is increase. When the concentration is 1.0moldm -3, the E cell concentration with 0.001moldm-3 is 1.088. is 1.03V. Next, the

0.1moldm-3 is 1.050V. After that, 0.01moldm-3 is 1.075V and finally

4. Explain what will happen to the E cell I) copper (II) nitrate

value if

The solution in Beaker A is replaced with 0.1moldm -3 aqueous When the Beaker A is replaced with 0.1moldm -3 aqueous copper (II) nitrate, the concentration of copper (II) nitrate decrease making the reaction displaced toward the left. This make more electrons is release by the copper electrode to make more copper ions in the aqueous solution left lots of electron more negative charge. The different between the two half cells also increase. As a result of that, this make E cell be more negative.


The solution in beaker B is replaced with 0.1moldm -3 aqueous aluminium chloride, and the plate of zinc metal is replaced with aluminium metal? When the aqueous aluminium chloride is replacing the zinc nitrate and the plate is replace with aluminium metal where 0.1moldm -3 is used, the equation is shown as below: Al (s) Al3+ (aq) + 3eWhen the concentration of aluminium is 0.1moldm -3, the equilibrium shift from the left to the right where more electrons are release and more aluminium ions is form. This makes the electrode and the solution to be more negative charge as more electron charge is release. The different between the two half cells will increase as well. Therefore, the E cell is more negative.

Reference: 1. Galvanic cell. Retrieved 1st March 2009, from,


2. 3. 4.

Free Dictionary. (2009). Voltaic Cell. Retrieved 1st March 2009, from, http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/galvanic+cell Electromotive force. Retrieved 1st March 2009, from, http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/c123/emf.html Lim, Y. S. & Yip, K. H. (2008). Longman Pre U Text STPM: Physical Chemistry. PJ: Pearson Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.