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sample of Essay Question

Form 4 Chapter 5:

1 Table 11 shows the proton number of atoms P, Q and R.

Element P Q R

Proton number 8 12 17

a) Based on electron arrangement, explain the formation of chemical bond between

i) element P and element P [5 marks ]

ii) element Q and element R [7 marks ]

b) Gas P reacts with element Q to produce a white solid.

i) Write a chemical equation for the reaction between gas P and element Q.

ii) State three physical properties of the white solid. [ 4 marks] ]

c) What is the position of element Q in the Periodic Table of the elements?

Explain how you obtain your answer. [ 4 marks ]

Suggested Answer:

1 a)i 1. Two atoms of P combine through covalent bond.

2. Each atom of P needs two more electrons to achieve octet electron arrangement.

3. Each atom of P contributes two electrons to each other for sharing.

4. Two atoms of P share two pairs of electrons.

5. A double covalent bond is formed.

ii) 1. Atom Q and atom R combine through ionic bond

2. To achieve octet electron arrangement,

3. atom Q with 6 valence electrons loses two electrons to form Q2+ ion

4. Two atom R, each atom with 7 valence electrons gain one electron to form R-

5. Q2+ ion and R- ion are attracted to each other by strong electrostatic force.1


b)i 2Q + P2 --> 2QP

ii) Have high melting point

Usually soluble in water

Conduct electricity in the molten state or aqueous solution.

c) 1. Element Q is located in Group 2

2. because it has two valence electrons

3. Element Q is located in Period 3

4. because it has three shells occupied with electrons

Setting up the Experiment

1. Preparing the crucible.2

a. Place a pipe clay triangle in a ring stand. 3

b. Place a crucible with its lid slightly off-

center in the pipe clay triangle.

c. Slide a Bunsen Burner on a blue flame (not a

smokey yellow flame) under the crucible so
that the hottest part of the flame (the top
of the inner blue cone) is directly heating
the bottom of the crucible.
Heat for 5 minutes to burn off any
contaminants that may be present.
The bottom of the crucible should glow red-
hot for about 20 seconds. This is known as
heating to incandescence.

d. Slide the Bunsen Burner, still on a blue Wear safety goggles (eye protection).
flame, out from under the crucible before
Do not place anything near the open flame.
turning it off.
(Keep your pens, notebooks, etc away from
This should ensure that no soot attaches to
the flame)
the bottom of the crucible.
Do not breathe in any fumes coming out of
e. Use tongs to re-position the lid so that it
the crucible.
covers the open crucible.
Cool the clean, empty crucible and lid to Assume that anything that is being heated or
room temperature without removing it has been heated is hot. Do not touch these
from the pipe clay triangle.4 items without first trying to feel for heat
You can use your hands to make a tent being radiated off them without touching
shape over the crucible at a little distance them.
from it so that you can feel if any heat is still
being radiated off the crucible. DO NOT look directly into the crucible while
DO NOT touch the crucible, if it is hot you it is being heated!
will be burnt, even if it is cool you will be
DO NOT place anything hot directly onto the
adding contaminants from your hands!
lab bench, always place hot objects on a heat
f. Remove the crucible from the pipe clay resistant mat.
triangle using tongs to prevent
DO NOT place anything hot on a balance!
contaminants from your hands being
transferred to the crucible.
If you have to walk with the crucible to the
balance, hold the crucible in the tongs and
support it with a heat resistant mat under it
to take it to the balance for weighing.
Use tongs to transfer the crucible to the

g. Weigh the clean, empty crucible and lid and

record its mass.

2. Producing the magnesium oxide.

a. Clean a 35 mm strip of magnesium (about 0.3 g) using emery papery or steel wool so that it is
silver and shiny.

b. Wind the magnesium strip around a clean glass stirring rod to obtain a loose coil and place
this inside the crucible and place the lid on the crucible.

c. Weigh the crucible, lid and magnesium (remember not to handle the crucible with your
hands, use tongs).
Record this mass.

d. Using tongs, place the crucible on the pipe clay triangle and position the lid so that it is
slightly off-center to allow air to enter but prevent the magnesium oxide from escaping.

e. Light the Bunsen Burner, and obtain a blue flame, and use this flame to brush the bottom of
the crucible for about 1 minute until the magnesium starts to burn as evidenced by a bright
glow within the crucible, then place the Bunsen Burner under the crucible and heat strongly
until all the magnesium turns into a grey-white powder (about 10 minutes).5

f. Use tongs to re-position the lid so that it covers the crucible.

This is done to prevent contaminants from the air, especially water, from entering the
crucible while it is cooling.

g. While still on a blue flame, slide the Bunsen Burner out from under the crucible before
turning it off to prevent soot attaching to the crucible.

h. Allow the crucible to cool to room temperature while still on the pipe clay triangle.

i. Weigh the crucible, lid and contents.

Record this mass.

j. Use tongs to re-position the crucible back into the pipe clay triangle with the lid slightly off-
center as before, and heat strongly for a few more minutes.
Remove the Bunsen Burner, and allow the crucible to cool back to room temperature, then
weigh the crucible and lid again.
Record this mass.

k. Continue this heating, cooling and weighing process until you achieve a constant mass.
Sample Results

Mass crucible + lid / g 24.62

Mass crucible + lid + magnesium / g 24.89

Trial 1 24.54

Mass crucible + lid + magnesium oxide/ g Trial 2 25.06

Trial 3 25.06

Want to play a game on this topic?


Calculating the Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide

a. Calculate the mass of magnesium used in the experiment:

mass magnesium = (mass of crucible + lid + magnesium) - (mass of crucible + lid )

= 24.89 g - 24.62 g

= 0.27 g

b. Calculate the mass of magnesium oxide produced:

Note: we will use the "constant mass" of the crucible + lid + magnesium oxide in the results table and
disregard earlier, lighter masses which indicate that the reaction had not yet gone to completion.

mass magnesium oxide = (mass of crucible + lid + magnesium oxide) - (mass of crucible + lid )

mass magnesium oxide = 25.06 - 24.62

= 0.44 g

c. Calculate the mass of oxygen present in the magnesium oxide:

mass oxygen = (mass of magnesium oxide) - (mass of magnesium)

= 0.44 g - 0.27 g

= 0.17 g

d. Calculate the moles of magnesium present in the magnesium oxide compound:

moles magnesium = mass magnesium (g) molar mass magnesium (g mol-1)

= 0.27 24.31 (from periodic table)

= 0.0111 mol

e. Calculate the moles of oxygen present in the magnesium oxide compound:

moles oxygen = mass oxygen (g) molar mass oxygen (g mol-1)

= 0.17 16.00 (from periodic table)

= 0.0106 mol

f. Calculate the mole ratio magnesium:oxygen in the magnesium oxide compound:

: moles oxygen

moles calculated from experimental data 0.0111 : 0.0106

divide each number by the smallest number 0.0111 0.0106 :

mole ratio 1.05 : 1.00

since 1.05 1.00 the ratio of lowest whole numbers is 1 : 1

g. Write the empirical formula for the magnesium oxide:

We have calculated that the ratio of moles (and hence the ratio of number of atoms) of Mg
to O in magnesium oxide is 1:1
We can write this formula as Mg1O1, but, because we do not write the subscript 1 in a
chemical formula, the empirical formula is simply written as MgO

Ready to try some test questions?


Sources of Error

Mass of magnesium oxide is too high

Contamination is the most likely problem. Water may have entered your crucible while it was cooling
(especially if your lid was not completely covering your crucible), or soot or other particulate matter
may have adhered to the top, sides, or lid of your crucible.

Consider the impact of a drop of water, say 0.05 g, on your experimental results:
magnesium oxygen

Mass / g 0.44 + 0.05 = 0.49 0.27 0.49 - 0.27 = 0.22

moles / mol 0.27/24.31 = 0.011 0.22/16.00 = 0.014

moles ratio 0.011/0.011 = 1.0 0.014/0.011 = 1.3 4/3

3 13=3 /3 3 = 4

lowest whole number ratio 3 4

calculated mass of O is too high (0.23 >

empirical formula Mg3O4 0.17)
so moles O is too high

Mass of magnesium oxide is too low.

Magnesium oxide product is a very fine powder which can easily escape whenever the lid on the
crucible is raised.
Consider, if you lost just 0.05 g of the total 0.44 g of your MgO before the final weighing:

magnesium oxide magnesium oxygen

Mass / g 0.44 - 0.05 = 0.39 0.27 0.39 - 0.27 = 0.12

moles / mol 0.27/24.31 = 0.011 0.12/16.00 = 0.0075

moles ratio 0.011/0.0075 = 1.5 = 3/2 0.0075/0.0075= 1.0

2 /2 2 = 3 1.0 2 = 2

lowest whole number ratio 3 2

calculated mass of O is too low (0.12 < 0.17)

empirical formula Mg3O2
so moles O is too low

The mass of magnesium oxide will also be too low if some of the magnesium metal does not
Consider an experiment in which 0.07 g of magnesium has not combusted and is still present as the
metal in amongst the product magnesium oxide which will all be recorded as the mass of
"magnesium oxide":

"magnesium oxide" magnesium oxygen

Mass / g 0.40 0.27 0.40 - 0.27 = 0.13

moles / mol 0.27/24.31 = 0.011 0.13/16.00 = 0.00813

moles ratio 0.011/0.00813 = 1.35 4/3 0.00813/0.00813 = 1.0

3 /3 3 = 4 13=3

calculated mass of O is too low (0.13 < 0.17)

empirical formula Mg4O3
so moles O is too low

Competing Reactions6

Air contains not only oxygen gas but also a large proportion of nitrogen gas. Although nitrogen gas is
not particularly reactive, magnesium is a very reactive metal, and, at the temperatures achieved
during the combustion of magnesium some magnesium will also react with nitrogen gas, that is:

word equation : magnesium metal + nitrogen gas magnesium nitride

balanced chemical equation : 3Mg + N2 Mg3N2

If about half of the original 0.27 g of magnesium metal, 0.13 g, were to react with nitrogen in this
way, then

word equation : magnesium metal + nitrogen gas magnesium nitride

balanced chemical equation : 3Mg + N2 Mg3N2

moles / mol 0.13/24.31 = 0.0053 /3 0.0053 = 0.0018

mass / g
0.0018 100.95 = 0.18
= moles molar mass

Our final "magnesium oxide" product would contain 0.18 g of magnesium nitride. We can calculate
how much MgO would be included in the product:

word equation : magnesium metal + oxygen gas magnesium oxide

balanced chemical equation : Mg + O2 MgO

mass / g 0.27 - 0.13 = 0.14

moles / mol 0.14 24.31 = 0.0058 0.0058

mass = moles molar mass 0.0058 40.31 = 0.23

The apparent mass of "magnesium oxide" product would therefore be 0.18 g + 0.23 g = 0.41 g
which is less than the 0.44 g we would expect without the magnesium nitride contaminant.
We could then calculate the mass of O = 0.41 - 0.27 = 0.14
which is less than the expected 0.17 g of O based on complete combustion of all 0.27 g of Mg
mole ratio Mg : O would be 0.27/24.31 : 0.14/16 or 0.011 : 0.0088
dividing through by 0.0088 the ratio Mg : O is 0.011/0.0088 : 0.0088/0.0088 is 1.25 : 1 or 5/4 : 1
multiplying throughout by 4, the mole ratio of Mg : O is 5 : 4
empirical formula would be Mg5O4
1. An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals mixed in a certain percentage.
2. Most pure metals are weak and soft. The properties of pure metals can be improved by making
them into alloys.
3. Alloys are made to
1. increase the hardness of metals.
Magnalium is made from aluminium and magnesium to improve the hardness of the pure
metals but at the same time, maintaining their lightness.
2. prevent the corrosion of metals.
Stainless steel which can resist rusting is made by adding carbon, chromium and nickel to
3. improve the beauty and lustre of metals.
Copper and antimony added to tin produces pewter, used to make decorative items.