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Unit Title: Chemistry Laboratory I

Unit Code: UDEC 1134


Name: Ooi Jiaxin
ID: 1500257
Name of Lab Partners: Tan Jia Ying, Rita Sharmila Dewi
Practical Group: 5
Experiment No.: 4
Experiment Title: The Solubility of Some Salts of Group II Elements
Experiment Date: 09/02/2015
Submission Date: 24/02/2015
Lecturers Name: Ms. Chang Chew Cheen

Title: The Solubility of Some Salts of Group II Elements


Objective: To demonstrate the trends in solubility of the Group II hydroxides, sulphates,
sulphites and carbonates.
Introduction:
Group 2 elements are of the following order: beryllium, magnesium, calcium,
strontium, barium and finally, radium. The Group 2 elements are classified as alkaline earth
metals, and they can form salts with various anions such as hydroxides, sulphates, sulphites
and carbonates which were tested out on the specific Group 2 cations in this experiment. The
Group 2 cations involved are magnesium (Period 3), calcium (Period 4), strontium (Period 5),
and barium (Period 6).
In this experiment, the solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides, sulphates, sulphites and
carbonates were tested and taken into account and the trend may be explained through certain
aspects in Chemistry. The solubility of the Group 2 salts can be noticed and compared by
looking at the presence of precipitate after the addition of the anions (OH -, SO42-, SO32-, and
CO32-), drop by drop, to the 1 mL Group 2 cation solution. For each salts, the solubility is
proportional to the number of drops of anion added. If precipitate is present after the addition
of a type of anions, the Group 2 salt formed is considered as partially soluble or insoluble,
depending on the intensity or the state of the precipitate. If precipitate is absent even after the
excessive addition of a type of anions, the Group 2 salt which was formed is considered as
soluble.
Apparatus/Glasswares: 8 test tubes, dropper, teat pipette with 1 mL mark, test tube rack.
Chemicals/Reagents: 0.1 M solutions of the following cations: Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+;
1.0 M solution of OH -, 0.5 M solutions of SO 42-, and SO32- ions, 0.05
M solution of CO32-.
Procedure:
Two rows of four test-tubes each were set up. The first test tube on the first row was
labelled Mg2+, the second test tube was labelled Ca 2+, the third test tube was labelled Sr 2+, and
the fourth and final test tube for the first row of test tubes was labelled Ba 2+. 1 mL of the
appropriate cation solution was added to each test tube using a teat pipette with a 1 mL mark.
The second row of test-tubes were labelled OH - for the first test tube, SO 42- was
labelled on the second test tube, the third test tube was labelled SO 32-, and the fourth and final
test tube was labelled CO32-. OH- was added drop by drop to each cation solution in the first
row with shaking, test tube by test tube. The number of drops of solution used was recorded
in a copy of Table 1. The precipitate was classified as slight (s) or heavy (h) if a precipitate
appeared suddenly. The salt was regarded as soluble if there is absence of precipitate after the
addition of forty drops of the anion.

The steps of adding new type(s) of anions into the cation solutions were repeated for
the remaining anions and cations.
Results:
Table 1
Cation
solution
Mg2+
Ca2+
Sr2+
Ba2+

Number of drops of anion solution added to give a precipitate


OHSO42SO32CO32s
40+
40+
s
4 drops
5 drops
s
40+
s
s
2 drops
4 drops
1 drop
s
s
h
h
5 drops
1 drop
1 drop
1 drop
s
h
h
h
8 drops
1 drop
1 drop
1 drop

Table 2 Solubilities of Group II compounds in water at 298 K


Singly charged anions
Doubly charged anions
Solubility / mol per
Solubility / mol per
Compound
Compound
100g of water
100 g of water
-1
MgCl2
5.6 x 10
MgCO3
1.8 x 10-4
CaCl2
5.4 x 10-1
CaCO3
0.13 x 10-4
-1
SrCl2
3.5 x 10
SrCO3
0.07 x 10-4
BaCl2
1.5 x 10-1
BaCO3
0.09 x 10-4
-1
Mg(NO3)
4.9 x 10
MgSO4
3600 x 10-4
Ca(NO3)
6.2 x 10-1
CaSO4
11 x 10-4
-1
Sr (NO3)
1.6 x 10
SrSO4
0.62 x 10-4
Ba(NO3)
0.4 x 10-1
BaSO4
0.009 x 10-4
-3
Mg(OH)2
0.020 x 10
MgCrO4
8500 x 10-4
Ca(OH)2
1.5 x 10-3
CaCrO4
870 x 10-4
-3
Sr(OH)2
3.4 x 10
SrCrO4
5.9 x 10-4
Ba(OH)2
15 x 10-3
BaCrO4
0.011 x 10-4
Questions:
1.
For Group II, what are the trends in solubility of the salts listed below:
(a) hydroxides
(b) sulphates
(c) sulphites
(d) carbonates
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

The solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides decreases and increases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 sulphates decreases down the group
The solubility of the Group 2 sulphites decreases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 carbonates decreases down the group.

2.
Use Table 2 to answer the following questions.
(a)
Explain the trends in solubility for each type of salt for Group II elements as listed in
Table 2.
The solubility of the Group 2 chlorides decreases down the group. The size of the 2
chloride ions are larger than the size of the metal ions. But when going down the group, the
size of the metal cations are becoming more similar to the size of the chloride ions as the
cations become larger when going down the group. The increasing in size of the ions and
molecules also results in the decreasing in attraction of water molecules and the attraction
becomes weaker. Hence, solubility decreases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 nitrates increases from magnesium nitrate to calcium
nitrate but decreases later down the group. The size of the nitrate ions are larger than the size
of the metal cations, and the difference in size between the cations and anions are large but
decreasing when going down the group as the size of the cations increases. Attraction of
water molecules decreases and becomes weaker. Hence, solubility decreases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides increases down the group. This is because
when going down the group, the size of the cation increases and becomes larger than that of
the anions (OH-). The size of the OH- ions are smaller than the size of the cations. The
increasing difference in size between the cations and the OH - ions leads to the increasing
favourable attraction with the water molecules. Hence, the solubility increases down the
group.
The solubility of the Group 2 carbonates decreases from magnesium carbonate to
strontium carbonate and increases from strontium carbonate to barium carbonate. The size of
the carbonate ions, CO32- ions is larger than the size of the metal cations. Going down Group
2, the size of the metal cation increases, resulting in the decreasing difference in size between
metal cations and carbonate ions. Moreover, the increasing in size of the molecules and ions
leads to the decreasing in attraction of the water molecules. Therefore, the solubility of the
Group 2 carbonates decreases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 sulphates decreases down the group. The size of the
sulphate ion is larger compared to the Group 2 cations. As the size of the Group 2 cations
increases down the group, the difference between the size of the metal cations and the size of
the SO42- ions decreases. Less attractions are formed with water molecules. Hence, the
solubility decreases down the group.
The solubility of the Group 2 chromates decreases down the group as well. The size
of the chromate ions are larger than that of the metal cations. The size of the metal cations
increases down the group, and the difference in sizes between the cations and chromate ions
decreases. Attractions between the molecules and water molecules also become less, and
hence solubility of the salts decreases down the group.

(b)
Do the solubilities given above for the carbonates, sulphates and hydroxides agree
with your findings in this experiment?
The solubility of the Group 2 sulphates given above is the same as the findings in this
experiment, but the solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides do not match with the experimental
results, and the solubility of the carbonates given above may or may not be the same as the
findings in this experiment. Based on the results of the experiment, the required drops of
hydroxide ions for the production of precipitate decreases from magnesium ion to calcium
cation but increases from calcium cation to barium cation. According to the tabulated data of
the theoretical solubility of Group 2 hydroxides, the solubility increases down the group.
However, in this experiment, 4 drops of hydroxide ions were required to form slight
precipitation in the test tube containing magnesium ion and 2 drops of hydroxide ions for the
slight precipitation to occur in calcium ion solution.
Based on the solubility of the carbonates given in the table, the solubility decreases
from magnesium carbonate to strontium carbonate and increases from strontium carbonate to
barium carbonate. In this experiment, the precipitation after the addition of the carbonate ions
to both strontium ions and barium ions are of only 1 drop, both of which resulted in heavy
precipitation. The solubility of strontium carbonate is 0.07 x 10 -4 mol per 100 g of water and
0.09 x 10-4 mol per 100 g of water for barium carbonate. The solubility increases but the
difference in solubility between both salts is small. Hence the same observation in terms of
precipitation and the knowledge of the addition of the same amount of carbonate ions for
precipitation to occur may result in minimal differences in observations although the
solubility increases.
(c)

So singly- or double-charged anions give the more soluble compounds?

The solubilities of the salts with singly-charged anions are obviously higher than the
solubilities of the salts with the double-charge anions.
Discussion:
Group 2 metals are alkaline earth metals. They are involved in ionic reactions to form
ionic bonds with the non-metals. The Group 2 metals release or donate two of their outer
electrons instead of one electron only to achieve stable octet configuration to the anions
which are of non-metals. The non-metals, being more electronegative, are more likely to
accept or receive electrons from the Group 2 atoms to attain stable octet configuration. Thus,
ionic bonds are formed.
When going down the group, the size of the Group 2 elements (magnesium, calcium,
strontium and barium) increases. The forces of attraction between the nucleus of the atom and
the valence electrons in the outer shell of the elements decreases. Naturally, when going
down Group 2, the atoms will also be more likely to donate or release their electrons to form
cations. Hence, the metallic properties of the metals increase down the group.

The size of the Group 2 ions (Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+ and Ba2+) increases down the group.
The solubilities (in the case of this experiment, solubility is determined based on the presence
or absence of precipitation) of the salts formed with sulphate ions (SO 42-), sulphite ions
(SO32-) and carbonate ions (CO32-) decrease. The solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides,
however, increases.
The presence of slight precipitate after the addition of anions (be it OH -, SO42-, SO32or CO32-) denotes that the salt formed is partially soluble. The presence of heavy precipitate
after the addition of 1 drop of anions denotes that the salt formed is insoluble. If the solution
in the test tube remain clear and without the presence of precipitate after the addition of 40
drops of anions, the salt formed is considered soluble.
Understand that the size of the sulphate ions, sulphite ions and carbonate ions are
larger than that of the Group 2 cations. The size of the metal cations increases down the
group, and the difference in sizes between the cations and the anions (SO42-, SO32- and CO32-)
decreases when going down the group. The charge density of the cations decreases down the
group resulting in decreasing polarising effect as well. The forces of attraction with water
molecules become weaker. Hence, the solubility of the Group 2 sulphates, sulphites and
carbonates decreases down the group.
The size of the hydroxide ions (OH-) is smaller than the size of the metal cations.
Initially, the hydroxide ions and metal cations are almost similar in size. But when going
down Group 2, the size of the Group 2 ions increases. The difference in sizes between the
hydroxide ions and the metal ions when going down the group increases. There are more
attraction of the water molecules due to the less similarity in sizes between the cations and
anions. The solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides therefore increases down Group 2.
In this experiment, the solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides decreases from
magnesium hydroxide to calcium hydroxide, and increases from calcium hydroxide to barium
hydroxide. This may be due to experimental errors or the lack of shaking of the test tube
containing magnesium ion after the addition of the hydroxide ions.

Precaution Steps:
The equal amounts of the Group 2 ions are used (1 mL) to prevent unbiasedness in the
results of the experiment. The test tube was shaken after adding every drop of the anion
concerned to observe the presence of precipitate in the test tube, and hence provide accurate
results for the experiment.

Conclusion:
The solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides decreases (from magnesium hydroxide to
calcium hydroxide) and increases (from calcium hydroxide to barium hydroxide) down the
group. This may be due to experimental error as the solubility of the Group 2 hydroxides
should increase down the group because the difference in sizes between the Group 2 cations
and the anions increases which results in stronger attraction of water. The solubilities of the
Group 2 sulphates, Group 2 sulphites and Group 2 carbonates decrease down the group due to
the decrease in size differences between the Group 2 cations and anions (SO 42-, SO32- and
CO32-) which results in the weaker and less attraction of the water molecules.
References:
1. Clark, 2002. Explanations for the Trends in Solubility of Some Group 2 Compounds.
[Online]. Available at: http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/group2/problems.html
[Accessed 23 February 2015].
2. Tan, L., L., H., 2012. Ace Ahead STPM Text Chemistry Second Term. Selangor Darul
Ehsan: Oxford Fajar.
3. Silberberg, 2006. Chemistry The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change. 4th ed. New
York: McGraw Hill.
4. Clark. The Solubilities of the Hydroxides, Sulfates and Carbonates. [Online].
Available at:
http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Inorganic_Chemistry/Descriptive_Chemistry/sBlock_Elements/Group__2_Elements
%3A_The_Alkaline_Earth_Metals/Chemistry_of_the_Group_2_Elements/The_Solub
ility_of_the_Hydroxides,_Sulfates_and_Carbonates [Accessed 23 February 2015].
5. Yip, 2006. STPM Text & Pre-U Organic & Inorganic Chemistry. Selangor Darul

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