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SOLUBILITY AS A FUNCTION OF TEMPERATURE

MARY VHEE IRENE U. MACASERO


Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering and Architecture, Cebu Institute of Technology University, N. Bacalso Ave.
Cebu City, 6000 Philippines

The purpose of this lab is to determine the solubility of a substance at varying temperatures, in
this case anhydrous oxalic acid (C2O4H2). When a substance is saturated at a certain temperature,
its solubility can be measured. In this experiment excess amount of the oxalic acid is dissolved in
water at room temperature and is heated to have a super saturated solution. After which, the
process of recrystallization is applied where the temperature of the super saturated solution is
dropped to 25C, 20C, 15C and 0C (or to any temperature that is needed for the study). It has
been known that a substance is less soluble in lower temperature values and that solubility is a
function of temperature. So when temperature decreases, some of the oxalic acid will
recrystallize and form a saturated solution for that certain temperature. Since C 2O4H2 is an acid
then the moles of solute added to water can be measured via titration. The solubility of oxalic
acid at SATP was found to be 13 g solute per 100 g solvent.

1. Introduction

When a substance mixes with another substance to form a homogeneous mixture, a true solution
is formed. The substance that is present in greater amount is called the solvent and the other
substance is called the solute.
The solubility of a solid in a liquid is governed by many factors like nature of solute, nature of
solvent, temperature, pressure, concentration of solute, presence of other solutes, etc. The
maximum amount of the solute that can dissolve in a fixed quantity of the solvent at a given
temperature and pressure is called solubility. Such a solution, which contains the maximum
amount possible of the solute at that temperature and pressure, is called a saturated solution.
The solubility of a given solute in a given solvent typically depends on temperature. Many salts
show a large increase in solubility with temperature. As the temperature of a solution is
increased, the average kinetic energy of the molecules that make up the solution also increases.
This increase in kinetic energy allows the solvent molecules to more effectively break apart the
solute molecules that are held together by intermolecular attractions.
The average kinetic energy of the solute molecules also increases with temperature, and it
destabilizes the solid state. The increased vibration (kinetic energy) of the solute molecules
causes them to be less able to hold together, and thus they dissolve more readily.
A useful application of solubility is recrystallization. During recrystallization, an impure
substance is taken up in a volume of solvent at a temperature at which it is insoluble, which is
then heated until it becomes soluble. The impurities dissolve as well, but when the solution is
cooled, it is often possible to selectively crystallize, or precipitate, the desired substance in a
purer form.

2. Materials and Methods


2.1 Apparatus
o Solubilisation setup is composed of the following:
Thermostat
Thermocouple
Large test tube
10 mL pipette

Filter paper
Stirring rod

o Titration setup consisting of the following:


base burette
Erlenmeyer flasks

2.2 Materials
o oxalic acid
o distilled water
o 0.5 N sodium hydroxide
2.3 Methods
2.3.1 Acquiring saturated solutions of oxalic acid at different temperatures:
a. An excess amount of oxalic acid is dissolved with water at room temperature.
b. The solution is then heated for super saturation.
c. The solution is now cooled down to the temperature of study, in this case
25C, 20C, 15C and 0C.
d. At each temperature, a 10-mL aliquot is taken from the solution and is later
2.3.2

used for titration.


Measuring the oxalic acid content
a. A 0.5 N of sodium hydroxide is prepared and a 10 mL aliquot from the
solution at varying temperatures is placed in an Erlenmeyer flask.
b. The aliquot is now subjected to titration with the sodium hydroxide as the
titrant.
c. The molarity of oxalic acid is computed using the acquired data.

2.4 Setup

3. Results and Discussion

Temperature
25C
20C
15C
0C

VNaOH
22.6 mL
18.7 mL
14.8 mL
8.30 mL

Molarity
1.186 M
0.981 M
0.777 M
0.436 M

Masssolute
1.0674 g
0.8829 g
0.6989 g
0.3920 g

Masssolvent
7.8907 g
8.0942 g
9.5323 g
9.4761 g

Solubility
13.53
10.90
8.190
4.130

Table 3.1 Experimental Results; where solubility is expressed in gram solute per 100 gram solvent

Literature
13.1
9.50
7.57
3.53

% Error
3.28 %
14.74 %
8.19 %
17.00 %

15
13
11

Solubility in part per 100 parts

9
7
5
3
0

10

15

20

25

30

Temperature in Celsius
Graph 3.1 Solubility as a function of Temperature

The Table 3.1 shows the result of the experiment conducted with oxalic acid in water. The
relationship between temperature and solubility for the system is shown in Graph 3.1. Notice that
the oxalic acid, at room temperature and pressure, tend to become less soluble when the
temperature drops.
Substances that are solids at room temperature and pressure tend to become more soluble when
the temperature rises. Heating a solution of a solid makes it easier for the particles of solid to
move between the solution and the solid phase. The Second Law predicts that they will shift to
the more disordered, more highly dispersed, and therefore, more probably solution state (liquid
state is more disordered than the solid state).

4. Conclusion
Solubility is the amount of a substance that will dissolve in a given amount of another substance.
The solubility of a given solute in a given solvent typically depends on temperature. Many salts
show a large increase in solubility with temperature.
In this experiment, it has been proven that the solubility of oxalic acid increases as temperature
increases. Thus, a larger amount of solute is needed to saturate a solution at a higher degree of
temperature.

References
Web references
http://www.chemistry.mcmaster.ca/~ayers/chem2PA3/labs/SOLUBILITY.pdf
http://www2.latech.edu/~hhegab/pages/me354/Lab2/Lab2_oxalic_Sp97.htm
http://www.chem.umn.edu/groups/massari/Teaching_Files/Expt11_2006.pdf