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Applying Le Châtelier's Principle Lab

Michael Mohamed
Due Date: Tuesday, November 18th

Purpose: To observe qualitative changes in various equilibrium reactions and to

make inductions on the changes taking place in the equilibria accounting for those


Part A:
Name of Normal Colour Colour Change Colour Change
Compound with NaOH(aq) with HCl(aq)
K2CrO4(aq) Yellow Becomes slightly Becomes yellower
K2Cr2O7(aq) Orange Becomes yellower Becomes orangey

Name of Normal Colour Colour Change Colour Change
Compound with HCl(aq) with NaOH(aq)
K2CrO4(aq) Yellow Becomes slightly Becomes yellower
K2Cr2O7(aq) Orange Becomes slightly Becomes orangey

Part B
Compounds Initial Colour Colour Change Colour Change
Originally with Ba(NO3)2(aq) with HCl(aq)
Kr2CrO4(aq) + Yellow Becomes opaque Increases
NaOH(aq) transparency

Compounds Initial Colour Colour Change Colour Change
Originally with Ba(NO3)2(aq) with NaOH(aq)
Kr2Cr2O7 + HCl(aq) Orange No effect Yellow and opaque

2H+(aq) + 2CrO4-2(aq) → Cr2O7-2(aq) + H2O(l)

1a) 2H+(aq)+2CrO4-2(aq)→Cr2O7-2(aq)+H2O(l) is the balanced equation

1b) In part 2a of Part A, NaOH(aq) is added to the solution, which will add OH-(aq) ions
to the solution. These ions will react with the H+ ions on the reactant side to produce
H2O molecules, these go to the product side. Effectively the reactants have been
reduced and the products increased. Depending on whether the compound is of
originally CrO4-2(aq) or Cr2O7-2(aq), either Cr2O7-2(aq) or CrO4-2(aq) will be produced as a
result of equilibrium shift. In the case of the CrO4, there was originally a very small
amount of CrO4-2 originally, but the overall concentration of the solution has been
shifted, and as a result while CrO4-2(aq) and Cr2O7-2(aq) were both produced, there was
still more Cr2O4-2(aq) in the solution than there originally was, leading to a change in
hue to a more orangey colour (it should be noted that the shift was not particularly
significant when compared to the other). In the case of Cr2O7-2(aq), the same shift in
equilibrium occurs, however in this case although the concentration of Cr2O7-2(aq) is
changed, there was a very small amount of CrO4-2(aq) in the solution before the
addition of the OH-(aq) ion than before, and since the equilibrium shift involves a
reduction in reactants and addition of products, the equilibrium will shift to the side
of the reactants creating a much higher percentage of CrO4-2(aq) as compared to
Cr2O7-2(aq); this shift creates the appearance of the solution becoming much yellower.

1ca) This is similar to the addition of OH- to the system, except that the H+ ions
added from HCl(aq) don’t react with anything, and are simply added to the reactant
side of the equation. In this case, the product side of the equation would increase in
rate due to the equilibrium shift of more reactants being added. In the case of CrO4-
(aq) solution, the product side of the reaction would be increased, but the change in
concentration again makes the CrO4-2(aq) content more visually apparent. In the case
of Cr2O7-2(aq), the increase in the product side is more apparent due to the hue of the
original solution (overall, there are still more Cr2O7-2(aq) molecules in the solution, and
the equilibrium change by adding H+(aq) makes this more apparent). The Cr2O7-2(aq)
molecule production rate becomes higher due to the addition of H+(aq) on the
reactant side, increasing the orangey hue of the solution overall. It should be noted
that because of the ratio of moles being produced for Cr2O7-2(aq) as compared to CrO4-
2 -2
(aq) is 1:2, and as a result more CrO4 (aq) becomes apparent with an equilibrium shift
to the reactant side.

1d) This involves answering 1b) and 1c) for Part A 3ab) of the experiment. These
repeat questions are denoted by a ‘b’ rather than an ‘a’.

1bb) The changes involved in the initial addition were not very significant, likely
because the addition of an H+(aq) is not going to make significant changes in the
equilibrium at first in either case due to the fact that the concentration increase will
cause an increase in production of the reactant for every 2H+(aq) added to the
reactants. In the case of CrO4-2(aq) , the orangey colour formed is only light because
few Cr2O7-2(aq) were formed on the whole due to the equilibrium shift, and there was
still a fair increase in the volume overall as several drops of HCl(aq) caused little
effect. This increase in volume and decrease in concentration overall of CrO4-2(aq)
with an increase in concentration of Cr2O7-2(aq) is a result of its equilibrium shift to the
product side. In the case of Cr2O7-2(aq), there is already a very low amount of CrO4-2(aq)
in the solution, the addition of an H+(aq) ion has very little effect here; what it does
cause is an increase in concentration and therefore a diluting of the sampling of
Cr2O7-2(aq) overall leading to the yellowing colour.

1cb) The addition of the 5M concentrated NaOH(aq) lead to fairly apparent changes in
color of the solution. This adds an OH-(aq) ion which reacts with the H+(aq) ions
previously added, forming water; the reduction in H+(aq) concentration and increase
in H2O(l) concentration causes a significant shift in the equilibrium to the reactant
side. This shift will cause much more CrO4-2(aq) to be formed out of the reaction,
causing the yellowing effect seen in the reaction. In the case of Cr2O7-2(aq), this
reaction will only cause some of the added H+(aq) ions previously added to react with
the new OH-(aq) ions to form H2O(l); this will cause the equilibrium to have more of
both the products and reactants overall, and since there are more products they will
be favoured in the equilibrium as opposed to CrO4-2(aq).

2a) Compared to one another, BaCr2O7 as a compound is more soluble than is

BaCrO4. This can be observed by what happens in Part B of the experiment when
Ba(NO3)2(aq) is added to the two mixtures. In the case of K2CrO4(aq) and NaOH(aq),
BaCrO4(s) was formed as can be seen by the murkiness resulting from the
opaqueness in the mixture after the addition. When Ba(NO3)2(aq) is added to
K2Cr2O7(aq) and HCl(aq), there is no apparent change in the solutions as they both
appear to be clear. If there was a change it was not visible, but unlike BaCrO4(s),
BaCr2O7 did not form a precipitate implying that it is more soluble.

2b) The equation given in Part B is the reaction that occurs between K2CrO4(aq) or
K2Cr2O7(aq) and Ba(NO3)2(aq) in a solution with both NaOH(aq) and HCl(aq). In both cases,
the NaOH(aq) and the HCl(aq) will ionize to form OH-(aq) and H+(aq) ions; these two ions
will react to form water but only if certain prerequisites are met. In the 1b) reaction,
there is already OH-(aq) ions present along with BaCrO4(s) molecules formed in the
reactions 2NaOH(aq) + Ba(NO3)2(aq) → 2NaNO3(aq) + Ba+2(aq) + 2OH-2(aq) as well as
K2CrO4(aq) + Ba+2(aq) → BaCrO4(s) + 2K+(aq). The BaCrO4(s) constitute the opaqueness of
the mixture, as it is a precipitate. When the HCl(aq) is added, these will react with the
OH-(aq) ions remaining in the solution to form water. Also, it should be considered
that the equilibrium noted in the observations begins to take place along with the
CrO4(aq)-2 in the solution. Because there are now hydrogen ions being used up
(reduced concentration) as well as an increase in H2O(l), the equilibrium is shifted to
the reaction side and produces more CrO4-2(aq) than it produces Cr2O7-2(aq). This will
cause the solution to become yellower and more opaque, however it should also be
noted that just by adding the HCl(aq) the volume and thus concentrations have been
shifted, leading to a change in equilibrium and the transparency of the solution
overall. In the 2b) reaction, the Ba2CrO4(s) molecules haven’t been formed, the only
apparent difference was that it became less concentrated for all the ions in the
solution. When the NaOH(aq) was added, the same reaction to form NaNO3(aq) in the
1a) reaction took place, creating the equilibrium of the solution when the Ba+(aq) ion
reacted to form Ba2Cr2O7(aq). An equilibrium shift then took place involving the
reaction of H+(aq) and OH-(aq) to form H2O(l), again shifting the reaction to the reactant
side, and using up the Cr2O7-2(aq) in a reaction to produce more CrO4-2(aq) than there
previously was; this will make the solution yellower and opaque with the formation
of Ba2CrO4(aq), which altogether explains why the solution was both yellow and
murky after the addition of NaOH(aq). Again, many of the atoms can be overlooked in
this reaction with the assumption made that some of them reacted with one another
given that all of the individual ions had been ionized in solution.

Conclusion: Overall, the application of Le Châtelier's Principle was very useful here
for explaining many of the colourchanges taking place in Part A of the experiment
and some of them in Part B, although the formation of a precipitate did make it
more difficult to see differences. When adding a new reactant into a solution, the
fact that the volume of the solution (and as a result the concentration of the
reactants in the solution) has been changed should be taken into account along with
any reactions that may occur between them. Taking these changes into account, Le
Châtelier's Principle can be applied to understand which side the reaction was
shifted on; because the reactants and products were both of distinctly yellow and
orange colour respectively visible changes in equilibrium could be easily noticed.