Purpose

You will observe and compare the physical and chemical properties of different chlorine compounds.

Materials

  • Magnifying glass
  • Aluminum foil, 1 x 4 cm strip
  • pH paper, 4 strips
  • Chemplate or 4 small jars or test tubes (with rack)
  • Small jar of tap water
  • Dropper bottle of household ammonia
  • Dropper
  • Small spoon
  • Paper towel
  • Small spoonful each of:
    • iron chloride
    • calcium chloride
    • sodium chloride
    • cupric chloride

Safety

Please be sure to use safety eyewear and to follow all other safety precautions. Do not taste or smell any of the chemicals.

Procedure

  1. Examine each of the chlorides with the magnifying glass. Record your results on the data table.

  2. Place half a small spoonful of iron chloride in a test tube or chem plate. Add 20 drops of water. Feel the outside of the tube. Record any up or down temperature change in the data table. Repeat for the other chlorides.

  3. Dip a piece of pH paper in the iron chloride solution. Record the acid/base properties in the data table (red or pink = acid, no change = neutral, light green or blue = base). Repeat for the other chlorides.

  4. Tear the aluminum foil into four equal pieces. Add one of the pieces to the iron chloride solution. Record your observations on the data table. Repeat for the other chlorides. Clean and dry the test tubes or chem plates.

  5. Place half a small spoonful of iron chloride in a clean test tube. Add 20 drops of water. Add five drops of household ammonia. Record your observations in the data table. Repeat for the other chlorides.

Follow your teacher's instructions for clean-up and return of materials.


Data table

Questions

  1. Which of the chlorides seem to have the most similar physical properties and chemical properties? The least similar physical and chemical properties?

  2. How do you explain the differences in the chemical and physical properties of these chlorides?

  3. How do the observations you made in this activity support the idea of chemicals as "building blocks?"
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