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Preliminary Chemistry Module 3: Water

Water is distributed on Earth as a solid, liquid and gas

1.1 Define the terms solute, solvent and solution:

A solute is a substance that is dissolved in a solvent

A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solute
A solution is a homogenous mixture

1.2 Identify the importance of water as a solvent:

Water is important as a solvent because: most chemical reactions

responsible for life occur in aqueous solutions, water carries waste
products away from cells (in solution) and many household
products (eg. disinfectants) are aqueous solutions

1.3 Compare the state, percentage and distribution of water in the

biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere:

Biosphere: 70%, liquid

Lithosphere: variable, liquid, water of crystallisation and solid ice
Hydrosphere: 96-100%, liquid, solid ice
Atmosphere: 0-5%, gas

1.4 Outline the significance of the different states of water on Earth in

terms of water as: a constituent of cells and its role as both a solvent
and a raw material in metabolism, a habitat in which temperature
extremes are less than nearby terrestrial habitats, an agent of
weathering rocks both as liquid and solid and a natural resource for
humans and other organisms:

In cells water: is a raw material for chemical reactions, is a solvent in

which chemical reactions occur, is a transport medium for bringing
nutrients to cells and removing waste products and smooths out
temperature variations
Water is a habitat for some: fish, algae and bacteria. Water bodies
fluctuate less in temperature than land and air
Water can weather rocks by: rain and rivers washing loose material,
glaciers eroding rock as they move and (freeze-thaw) liquid water
seeping into rock cracks and freezing to widen the cracks and break
away the rock
The wide distribution and importance of water on Earth is a consequence
of its molecular structure and hydrogen bonding

2.1 Construct Lewis electron dot structures of water, ammonia and

hydrogen sulphide to identify the distribution of electrons:

2.2 Compare the molecular structure of water, ammonia and hydrogen

sulphide, the differences in their molecular shapes and in their
melting and boiling points:

Water: H2O, bent, highest melting and boiling points (hydrogen

Ammonia: NH3, pyramidal, high melting and boiling points
(hydrogen bonding)
Hydrogen Sulphide: H2S, bent, lowest melting and boiling points
(dipole-dipole forces)

2.3 Describe hydrogen bonding between molecules:

Hydrogen bonding is a type of intermolecular force that involves a

hydrogen atom bonded to an O, N or F atom in one molecule to
become attached to an O, N or F atom in a different molecule.
Strongest intermolecular bond and has high boiling point

2.4 Identify the water molecule as a polar molecule:

Water is a polar molecule

Polar molecules have a net dipole due to their intramolecular polar
covalent bonds and shape

2.5 Describe the attractive forces between polar molecules as dipole-

dipole forces:

The intermolecular forces between polar molecules are dipole-

dipole forces. This involves the slightly positive or negative ends of
the molecules attracting the oppositely charged ends of other
molecules. This results in intermolecular forces that are stronger
than dispersion forces due to electrostatic attraction
2.6 Explain the following properties of water in terms of its
intermolecular forces: surface tension, viscosity, melting and boiling

Surface tension: caused by a surface molecule not experiencing any

intermolecular forces from above the surface. The stronger the
intermolecular forces, the great the surface tension of the liquid.
Therefore water has a high surface tension (from hydrogen
Viscosity: is the resistance of a liquid to flow. Honey has high
viscosity, water has lower viscosity than honey. Viscosity is
determined by molecule size and complexity (bigger and more
complex molecules get tangled so they dont flow easily) and
intermolecular forces (the stronger these forces, the more the liquid
resists flow). Water has a relatively high viscosity due to its
hydrogen bonding
Melting and boiling points: the stronger the intermolecular forces of
a substance, the higher its melting and boiling points. Due to
hydrogen bonding water has a relatively high melting and boiling
point (requires more energy to break forces)

Water is an important solvent

3.1 Explain changes, if any, to particles and account for those changes
when the following types of chemicals interact with water: a soluble
ionic compound such as sodium chloride, a soluble molecular
compound such as sucrose, a soluble or partially soluble molecular
element or compound such as iodine, oxygen or hydrogen chloride, a
covalent network structure substance such as silicon dioxide, a
substance with large molecules, such as cellulose or polyethylene:

Ionic compound dissolved in water: positive ends of water molecules

become attracted to negatively charged ions, and vice versa. The ions
move freely and independently of one another through the solution
Molecular compound dissolved in water: positive ends of water
molecules become attracted to negative ends of molecules. The
individual molecules disperse throughout the solvent water. Another
way that polar molecules can dissolve is by chemically reacting with
water, (sometimes) forming a hydronium ion
HCl(g) + H2O(l) -> H3O+(aq) + Cl-(aq)
Molecular element dissolved in water/partially soluble compound
dissolved in water: form weak dispersion forces (from instantaneous
polarisation of molecules) between element molecules and water
molecules causing partial dissolution
Covalent network structure in water: are insoluble in water as the
strong covalent bonds cannot be broken up by the water
A substance with large molecules in water: are insoluble in water as
the strong (hydrogen) bonds cannot be broken up by the water
3.2 Analyse the relationship between the solubility of substances in
water and the polar nature of water:

Like dissolves like

Ionic: most are soluble
Polar molecular: can be soluble by reaction or hydrogen bonds
Non-polar molecular: typically insoluble, some slightly
Very large molecules: typically insoluble, few soluble
Covalent lattices: insoluble
Metals: insoluble unless they react with water

The concentration of salts in water will vary according to their solubility,

and precipitation can occur when the ions of an insoluble salt are in
solution together

4.1 Identify some combinations of solutions which will produce

precipitates, using solubility data:

4.2 Describe a model that traces the movement of ions when solution
and precipitation occur:
4.3 Identify the dynamic nature of ion movement in a saturated

When a solid is in contact with its saturated solution there is a

dynamic balance between the dissolution and precipitation: both are
occurring, but at equal rates so that there is no overall change in
concentration in the solution. This is known as a dynamic

4.4 Describe the molarity of a solution as the number of moles of solute

per litre of solution using: c = n/V:

The molarity of a solution is the number of moles of solute per litre

of solution: c = n/V where c is molarity (mol/L or M), n is number of
moles of solute (mol) and V is volume of solution in litres (L)

4.5 Explain why different measurements of concentration are


Different measurements of concentration are used when it is more

convenient to do so. Molarity is used in chemical reactions as
chemical equations often involve moles, mass per unit of volume is
often used in commerce, industry and shopping where the amount of
solute is important and ppm is used when the concentrations of the
solute are very low
Some percentage concentration measurements include:
%(w/v) which means mass of solute per 100mL of solution,
%(v/v) which means volume of solute per 100mL of solution,
%(w/w) which means mass of solute per 100g of solution and
ppm which means grams of solute per million grams of solution

Water has a higher specific heat capacity than many other liquids

5.1 Explain what is meant by the specific heat capacity of a substance:

The specific heat capacity, C, of a substance is the amount of heat

required to raise the temperature of unit mass of the substance by
1C or 1K, measured in: J K-1 g-1

5.2 Compare the specific heat capacity of water with a range of other
5.3 Explain and use the equation: H = -mCT:

Quantity of heat is calculated by the formula: q = mCT, where

q is quantity of heat in joules, m is mass in grams, C is specific heat
capacity in J K-1 g-1 and T is change in temperature = final
temperature initial temperature
The molar heat of solution Hsoln of a substance is the heat absorbed
when one mole of the substance dissolves in a large excess of water:
H = -mCT

5.4 Explain how waters ability to absorb heat is used to measure energy
changes in chemical reactions:

Using a calorimeter, the quantity of heat formula can be used to

determine the heat given off by an unknown substance

5.5 Describe dissolutions which release heat as exothermic and give


An exothermic reaction/process is a reaction/process that releases

heat, causing a rise in temperature. eg. dissolution of sodium
hydroxide in water

5.6 Describe dissolutions which absorb heat as endothermic and give


An endothermic reaction/process is a reaction/process that absorbs

heat, causing a fall in temperature. eg. dissolution of potassium
nitrate in water

5.7 Explain why waters ability to absorb heat is important to aquatic

organisms and to life on Earth generally:

Waters ability to absorb heat prevents the temperature of water

bodies to rise as much as the land or air on a hot day, etc. This
protects aquatic organisms from the heat

5.8 Explain what is meant by thermal pollution and discuss its

implications for life if a body of water is affected by thermal

Thermal pollution is the discharge into a river or lake of quantities of

hot water that large enough to increase significantly the
temperature of the water body (2C-5C)
Some adverse effects of thermal pollution include: killing fish eggs,
lethal temperatures being reached, setting off migration and
spawning at the wrong time of year, less dissolved oxygen

Other Calculations: V1C1=V2C2, calculating solubility/equilibrium