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There are many reactions for which the heat of reaction cannot be
easily measured experimentally. Some of these are dangerous to
perform in the lab, while others generate so much heat that simple
calorimeters cannot be used. In such cases, it is practical to examine a
series of reactions whose net effect is the desired reaction, but whose
heats of reaction are more easily measured. From these multi-step
reactions, the required heat of reaction can be calculated using Hess

In this lab, you will design and conduct an investigation in order to

determine the enthalpy for the decomposition of solid ammonium
chloride, given by the following equation:

NH4Cl(s) NH3(g) + HCl(g)

The equation above can be obtained by manipulating four other


(1) NH3(aq) + HCl(aq) NH4Cl(aq) H


(2) NH4Cl(s) NH4Cl(aq) H = ?

(3) NH3(g) NH3(aq) H = ?

(4) HCl(g) HCl(aq) H = ?

You will experimentally determine H for reactions (1) and (2) and use
theoretical values for (3) and (4) to determine the enthalpy change
that accompanies the decomposition of ammonium chloride.

PRE-LAB /19 I /5C (table of results + general


1. Using the thermochemical data table in your textbook (page

A19), determine theoretical values for:
a. H for reactions 3 and 4
b. H for the decomposition of ammonium chloride (2I)
2. Show, using Hess law, how the above four equations can be
manipulated to obtain the overall equation and enthalpy change
for the decomposition of solid ammonium chloride. (2I)
3. You will be using 1.5 M solutions of NH3 and HCl. When
performing reaction (1), what is the concentration of NH4Cl that
will be produced? (2I)
4. Using the information you calculated in 3, what mass of NH4Cl
should be used in order to generate an NH4Cl solution of the
same concentration when performing reaction (2I)?
5. Design an experiment which will allow you to calculate the heat
of reaction for the decomposition of ammonium chloride using
the following:
i. 1.5 M solutions of NH3(aq) and HCl(aq) in 50.0 mL
ii. solid NH4Cl
iii. distilled water
iv. the information you calculated in questions 1-4
v. Any other lab materials you deem necessary to carry
out the investigation
In your lab notebook, write the purpose, an itemized materials
list and a numbered procedure, all using proper headings and
formatting. (8 I)
6. Suppose you used 25.0 mL of reactants as opposed to 50.0 mL.
What would be the effect on the T value? What would be the
change in q for the reaction? Explain your answers. (3 I)
7. Create a table of results in your lab notebook for this
experiment. (3C)


1. Show your calculations for the molar enthalpy for all equations
from your experimentation. (4A)
2. Calculate the heat of reaction for the equation NH4Cl(s) NH3(g) +
HCl(g) using Hesss Law. Show all your work. (3A)
3. Calculate your experimental error. (1A)
4. Does your data support Hess Law? Why or why not? (2 A)
5. List three ways you can improve your experimental protocol.
Provide the errors that could be avoided or minimized by your
improvement. (3A)



Lab write-up /15A /5C