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LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE

Experiment No.4
I. Data and Discussions
A. Gaseous Equilibrium
Several pieces of copper strips were dropped into a flask containing aqueous solution of
nitric acid. The reaction produced a reddish brown NO 2 gas. The reaction could be described
as:
Cu(s) + 4HNO3(aq) Cu(NO3)2 (s) + 2H2O(l) + 2NO2(g)
The gas was collected in a syringe and was observed. Pressure was applied when the
plunger of the syringe was pushed downwards. The brown gas became darker in comparison
to the original color. However, the change in color was not the expected result. Supposedly,
the brown gas would turn to a lighter color when applied with pressure. The gaseous
equilibrium is:
N2O4(g) 2NO2(g)
When the mixture was compressed, the volume and the pressure were changed. The
compression of the gas increased the NO 2 gas concentration thus making the reaction to
reestablish its equilibrium. When the reestablishment of equilibrium was done, it resulted in a
lighter change in color because the formation of N2O4 gas was favored by the pressure
increase.
As what was observed in the experiment, a darker color brown gas was observed.
Perhaps, there was no equilibrium established in the collected brown gas. The application of
pressure to it was just equivalent to the compression of product thus resulting to a darker
color.
Another set of the collected gas was exposed to a cold temperature. It was observed that
the color changed from brown to light brown. The change in color was due to the decrease in
temperature. The reaction of N2O4(g) 2NO2(g) is endothermic thus having the heat as the

LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE (1)

reagent at the reactant side of the equation. Decreasing the temperature would cause the
equilibrium to shift to the left, towards the formation of more N2O4.
Le Chteliers principle states that if a system at equilibrium is disturbed by a change in
temperature, pressure or the concentration of one of the components, the system will shift its
equilibrium position so as to counteract the effect of disturbance.

B. Common Ion Effect


Table 4.1 COMMON ION EFFECT
Acetic Acid
Acetic Acid + Methyl indicator
Acetic Acid + Methyl indicator + Sodium acetate

Observation(s)
Colorless
Pink/Violet
Colorless

Acetic acid is generally colorless in nature; it turns violet or pink when methyl indicator
was added. After that, when sodium acetate is added in acetic acid solution, the solution
becomes colourless, thus giving us an idea that the solution is basic. If base (OH +) are added
to the solution the free H+ on the product side of the reaction will be used up.
C. Complex Ion Equilibrium
Table 4.2 COMPLEX ION EQUILIBRIUM
COMPOUNDS
FeCl3 + KSCN
[FeCl3 + KSCN] + Ferric nitrate
[FeCl3 + KSCN] + Ammonium thiocyanate

OBSERVATION(S)
Red orange
Dark Red
Bloody Red/ Darker Red

[FeCl3 + KSCN] + Potassium chloride

Lighter Red

[FeCl3 + KSCN] + Disodium hydrogen

Colorless

Table 4.1 shows a solution of 1ml 0.1 M FeCl3 and 0.1 M KSCN that was mixed and
diluted in a 100 mL of water. The resulting solution was divided into four test tubes. The

LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE (2)

resulting solution, as shown in the table, obtained a red orange color. The reaction is defined
by this equation:
FeCl3 + KSCN FeSCN2++ + K+ + ClThe table also showed the different compounds mixed with the FeCl3 and KSCN solution,
namely the Ferric nitrate, Ammonium thiocyanate, potassium chloride, and Disodium
hydrogen. In this experiment, Ferric Nitrate and Ammonium thiocyanate ions increased in
amount. According to Le Chateliers principle, in order to restore equilibrium the reaction
will shift in forward direction to cancel the effect of change in concentration, resulting to a
deep red color complex obtained by the FeSCN2+ compound.
Meanwhile, when KCl was added, K+ and Cl- ions increased. Thus, the equilibrium will
shift to the reverse reaction, changing the red colored solution into a lighter intensity.
However, when the disodium hydrogen was added, it yielded a colorless solution, which
means that the addition of the said compound has no effect in the equilibrium reaction.
FeSCN2+ is the red complex ion. The complex ion equilibrium is given by this
equation:
Fe3+ + SCN- FeSCN2+
D. Chromate-Dichromate Equilibrium
Table 4.3 CHROMATE-DICHROMATE EQUILIBRIUM

K2CrO4 + NaOH (1)


K2CrO4 + HCl (2)

Observation(s)
NO Change
Yellow to Orange

K2Cr2O7 + NaOH (3)


K2Cr2O7 +HCl (4)

Orange to Yellow
NO change

A set-up of four test tubes was labeled 1, 2, 3, and 4. On test tubes 1 and 2, approximately
1mL of 0.1 M of K2CrO4 was added. The same amount and concentration of K 2Cr2O7 was
also added on test tubes 3 and 4. 1M of NaOH was added drop wise to test tubes 1 and 3
until a visible colour change is evident. The solution on test tube 3, K 2Cr2O7 showed a visible
colour change from its original colour of orange to yellow when the colorless NaOH was
LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE (3)

added. On the other hand, the solution on test tube 1, K2CrO4 did not show any visible
change in colour from the original solution. The same procedure was done on test tubes 2 and
4 but this time using 1M of HCl instead of NaOH. The solution on test tube 2, K 2CrO4
showed a visible change in colour from yellow to orange, while that of the solution on test
tube 4, K2Cr2O7 did not show any change in colour.
The yellow chromate and orange dichromate are in equilibrium with each other. The
change of color of the chromate ions was due to the reestablishment of equilibrium. If a more
acidic solution is added to the mixture, it causes the equilibrium to shift to the side towards
the dichromate ion. So, when the hydrochloric acid was added to the chromate solution, it
caused the equilibrium to shift to the side of the dichromate ion making the color change
from yellow to orange. On the other hand, the addition of sodium hydroxide in the
dichromate solution caused the equilibrium to shift towards the chromate ions. The sodium
hydroxide reacts with the hydrogen ions, removing them in the solution. The removing of
one reactant caused the equilibrium to shift to the side in which more yellow chromate ions
are created. Thus, explains the color change from orange to yellow.
II. Question and Answer
A. Gaseous Equilibrium
1. Why must be the NO2 generator be operated under the fume hood? Explain the effect
of changing pressure and temperature in the N2O4(g) 2NO2(g) equation.
It must be done under a fume hood to ensure constant pressure and temperature.
The changes in temperature and pressure will cause the reaction to shift its
established equilibrium. An increase in temperature will lead to a shift towards the
formation of N2O4(g). The same results can be observed in decreasing the
temperature.
2. Write a balanced chemical equation for the preparation of NO2 gas from the reaction of
copper metal with concentrated nitric acid.
Cu(s) + 4HNO3(aq) Cu(NO3)2 (s) + 2H2O(l) + 2NO2(g)
B. Common Ion Effect

LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE (4)

1. Methyl red indicator at pH 4.2 is red violet and at pH 6.2, yellow. Explain the color
change when sodium acetate was added to acetic acid solution.
Acetic acid is generally colorless in nature; it turns violet or pink when methyl
indicator was added. After that, when sodium acetate is added in acetic acid solution,
the solution becomes colourless, thus giving us an idea that the solution is basic. If
base (OH+) are added to the solution the free H+ on the product side of the reaction
will be used up.
C. Complex Ion Equilibrium
1. Write the equation for the formation of the deep red complex ion, FeSCN2+.
Fe3+ + SCN- FeSCN2+
2. What is the effect in equilibrium when ferric ion is added? When SCN- is added?
When KCL is added? When Disodium hydrogen is added?
The increase in concentration of Fe3+ and SCN- resulted in an increase of
concentration of the red blood complex which is FeSCN2+. Thus, the solution
obtained a darker color. However, the addition of KCL resulted in the decrease of
concentration of the red blood complex, thus, a lighter color was produced.
Meanwhile, the addition of Na2HPO4 has no effect on the system, leaving a colorless
solution.
D. Chromate-Dichromate Equilibrium
1. Compare the color of chromate ion and dichromate ion.
Chromate ion has a yellow color while dichromate ion has an orange color.

2. Balance the reaction, Cr2O72-(aq) + OH-(aq) CrO42-(aq) + H2O


Cr2O72- + 2OH- 2CrO42- + H2O
3. What is the function of OH- in the equilibrium, Cr2O72-(aq) CrO42-(aq)
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An increase in concentration of OH- will favor the formation of chromate


thus, making the solution yellow.
4. What ion is produced when HCL is added to CrO42- ion?
Dichromate ion is produced
5. Balance the reaction, CrO42-(aq) Cr2O72-(aq)
2CrO42- + H+ Cr2O72- + OH6. Write the equilibrium expressions for the reversible reaction in No. 2 and No. 5.
2.)

____[CrO42-]2____
[Cr2O72-][OH-]

5.)

[ Cr2O72-][ OH-]
[CrO42]2[- H+]

7. Calculate the Keq for the reversible reactions in Nos. 2 and 5.


HCrO-4 H+ + CrO42-

K = 3.2 x 10-7

2HCrO42- Cr2O72- + H2O

K = 34

H2O H+ + OH-

K = 1 x 10-14

[HCrO-4 H+ + CrO42-]2

K = 3.2 x 10-7 * 2

Cr2O72- + H2O 2HCrO42-

K=

1
34

[H + OH H2O]2

K=

1
1 x 1014

Cr2O72- + 2OH- 2CrO42- + H2O

K = 3.8 x 106

No. 2

*2

No. 5
[ H+ + CrO42- HCrO4-]2
2HCrO42- Cr2O72- + H2O

K=

1
3.2 x 107 * 2
K = 34
LE CHATELIERS PRINCIPLE (6)

H2O H+ + OH-

K = 1 x 10-14

2CrO42- + H+ Cr2O72- + OH-

K = 2.1 x 10-6

E. State Le Chateliers Principle


Le Chteliers principle states that if a system at equilibrium is disturbed by a
change in temperature, pressure or the concentration of one of the components, the system
will shift its equilibrium position so as to counteract the effect of disturbance.

III. Comment:
The preparation of the NO2 gas must be done under a fume hood to maintain a
constant temperature and pressure, and also in order for us to obtain more accurate results.

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