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CHM 152

Experiment #6.5 - Salt Hydrolysis


Introduction

Neutralization of strong acids by strong bases produces neutral salts. However, salts
formed in the neutralization reactions of other types of acids and bases can yield solutions
that are not neutral. The salt of a strong acid and a weak base for example, yields an
acidic solution in water. Other reactions can produce basic solutions. The acidic or basic
character of these non-neutral solutions is the result of salt hydrolysis. In salt hydrolysis,
one of the ions of the dissolved salt reacts with water to produce hydronium or hydroxide
ions.

In this experiment you will measure the pH of solutions of various salts. You will
estimate the pH of each solution using universal indicator and the color charts in the pH
paper tube or the universal indicator color guide on the lab prep cart. You will calibrate
your pH probe and measure the pH or each solution. Once the work in the lab is
complete you will analyze your results to determine if one of the ions produced in
solution can react with water to produce hydronium or hydroxide ions.

You will need to do a pre-lab assignment for this experiment. Use the data table provided
with this experiment while you are in lab and answer the questions following the data
table. Once you have answered the questions staple the pages containing the data table
and the questions to your pre-lab assignment and turn this lab report the next lab class.

Objectives:
1. Measure pH of aqueous solutions of several salts.
2. Explain the formation of non-neutral salt solutions by writing chemical equations for
salt hydrolysis.

Equipment from Lab Drawer:

Chemicals from hood:

Safety goggles
7 large test tubes
1 test tube rack
1 chem scoop
1 10 mL graduated cylinder
1 250 mL beaker

1. sodium chloride
2. ammonium carbonate
3. sodium carbonate
4. sodium bicarbonate (hydrogen carbonate)
5. sodium phosphate
6. sodium nitrate
7. sodium sulfate
8. ammonium sulfate
9. potassium sulfate
10. potassium bicarbonate

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Procedure:
1. Work in groups of two (or three if we run out of computer stations). Collect materials
from your lab drawer. Thoroughly wash all glassware before you begin. It is not
necessary to dry the glassware, just rinse well with distilled water.

2. Measure approximately 150 mL of distilled water into a 250 mL beaker and heat until
water is boiling. Remove from heat and allow cooling for about 5-10 minutes.

3. While the distilled water is boiling place small quantities, about pea-sized, of each of
the salts in the hood into labeled test tubes. Suggest using the numbers 1-10 and
record in you lab the chemical that corresponding to each number.

4. Add about 10 mL of the cooled distilled water to each test tube. Flick the bottom of
each test to gently dissolve the salt or use your stirring rod. Be sure to rinse the
stirring rod before using it in each solution to prevent contamination.

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5. Add 4 drops of universal indicator to each test tube.
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6. While the salt is dissolving calibrate the pH probe as instructed in previous


experiments using the standard pH solutions provided for calibration.

7. Use the data table on the back of this page to record the color and determine the pH of
the solution in each tube by comparing them to the representative colors for pH values
shown in either the pH paper or the universal indicator guide on the lab cart.

8. Use the pH probe to measure the actual pH of each salt solution. Record the pH of
each salt solution to the hundredths place. Be sure to soak the pH probe in fresh deionized water before and after taking the measurement of each salt solution. You will
also want to blot the probe dry using the chem wipes before and after taking the
measurement of each salt solution.

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9. Measure the pH of the previously boiled, distilled water.
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10.Dispose of the liquid waste in the waste bottle located in the hood.
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Experiment #6.5 - Salt Hydrolysis


Staple this form to the pre-lab

Name ________________________
Section Day ___________________
Lab Partner ____________________

Data Table:

Test
Tube
#

Formula Salt Dissociation Equation


of salt
(ionization of salt)
AB(s) A

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Color

pH
pH
estimate measure
(UI)
ment
(probe)

Data Analysis:

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1. Which salts produced neutral solutions?
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2. Which salts produced acid aqueous solutions?

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3. Which salts produced basic aqueous solutions?
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Questions:
1. Why is it important to know the pH of the boiled distilled water?

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2. For each salt whose solution is acidic, write an equation to show how one of the ions
in solution reacts with water to produce the hydronium ion (H3O+):

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3. For each salt whose solution is basic, write an equation to show how one of the ions in
solution reacts with water to produce the hydroxide ion (OH-):

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4. What would you call the type of acids formed by the reaction of the anions identified
in the question #3 with water? (please respond with a complete sentence)

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5. Would you expect a sodium salt to produce an acidic solution? (Please explain using
complete sentences)

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6. Name three salts (besides those used in this experiment) that you would expect them
to form an acidic solution when placed in water. (Please explain using complete
sentences how these salts would form acidic solutions). You may want to use
Appendix D in your textbook to help find candidates.