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Luna 1

Athia Ava Luna

Professor Beth Smith


April 4, 2017

An Analysis of Spectrophotometry and the Beer-Lambert Law

PreLab Questions: N/A


Actual Materials: Graduated Cylinder, ring stand, gloves, NiCl26H2O, test tube,

spectrophotometer, cuvette, flask, and deionized water.

1. A 100 mL aqueous solution of .25M CoCl26H2O was created by adding 50.3 grams of

CoCl2 to 0.01 L of water and then stirred to mix completely.

2. A blank test tube was placed in the spectrophotometer to calibrate the machine.
3. The CoCl26H2O solution was then placed in the spectrophotometer and scanned to find

the absorbance of the substance.

4. Serial dilutions were then put into effect and 10 mL each of 0.10, 0.15, and 0.20 of CoCl2

were produced.
5. Once all 4 solutions were scanned, excel was used to plot all the data on one organized

6. Using the graph and resources provided, an unknown was found and its concentration

was calculated.

Last Name 2

Absorbance vs Concentration of (CoCl26H2O )

f(x) = 6.98x - 0.02

The graph above represents the absorbance to concentration (mol/l) of .25M CoCl26H2O and

its 3 serial dilutions.

Absorbance vs. Concentration (mol/l) of CoCl26H2O Using Serial Dilution

Solution # Concentration (mol/l) Absorbance (at 507

1 .25 1.83
2 .20 1.19
3 .15 1.09
4 .10 .700
Unknown .14 1.09


To figure out the amount of water and solution needed to dilute for a certain concentration,

M1V1= M2V2 equation was used as follows,

For 0.20M concentration, .25M (x) = .20M (.10ml), therefore, x= 8. So, 8 ml of the

CoCl26H2O solution was added with 2ml of water to dilute the solution and make it

a 0.20M concentration.
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For 0.15M concentration, .25M (x) = .15M (.10ml), therefore, x= 6. So, 6 ml of the

CoCl26H2O solution was added with 4ml of water to dilute the solution and make it

a 0.15M concentration.

For 0.10M concentration, .25M (x) = .10M (.10ml), therefore, x= 4. So, 4 ml of the

CoCl26H2O solution was added with 6ml of water to dilute the solution and make it

a 0.10M concentration.

Beers Law: A=ELC, A=1.09 (unknown solution absorbance), E=6.98 (obtained from the

graph), L= 1.1 (diameter of the cuvette), C=?

Therefore, 1.09= 6.98 1.1 C, So, C= 0.14mol/L


The experimental process went without any known errors. Although this lab ran very smooth and

efficient, a possible error was the fact that there may have been a couple extra drops of

CoCl26H2O added that could have increased the concentration, therefore affecting the

absorbance readings. Despite the previous statement, the measurements were taken precisely

using the graduated cylinders, to ensure that there were no false amounts being put into the

solution. Even after being extremely careful though out with each dilution, the unknown

substance with the same absorption as .15M of CoCl26H2O calculated out to be .14M

concentration, which might have been caused due to some type of human error while measuring

the amount of solution. This could have happened because a couple more drops of CoCl26H2O

were added for the unknown substance, causing the concentration for it to be .1M less than the

0.15M concentration. Other than that, there were no other indications of any other possible


Errors and Improvement:

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One possible source of error is that the cuvette, although wiped off before being placed in the

colorimeter each time may not have been perfectly clean. Anything left on the cuvette would

decrease the light that could pass and would result in a higher measured absorbance. If this

happened on the first few solutions of known concentration it would have decreased the slope of

the graph, resulting in a larger calculated concentration for the unknown. If this problem had

occurred on either of the two more concentrated solutions, it would have increased the slope of

the line, causing a decrease in the calculated value for the unknown concentration. If this had

occurred with the unknown itself, the higher measured absorbance would have led a calculated

concentration that was too high. Another problem that may have been encountered was that each

when each solution was placed in the cuvette, traces of the prior solution may have still been

present. For each of the solutions of known concentration, this would have decreased their

concentration and therefore their absorbance, lowering the line on the graph. This would have led

to a lower intercept value and a higher calculated concentration for the unknown. The unknown

was placed in the cuvette after the most concentrated solution was measured and might therefore

have been more concentrated, resulting in a higher absorbance and a higher calculated



In this lab experiment, the absorption spectrum of CoCl26H2O was measured between the

wavelengths of 400 and 900 nm. Based on this spectrum, max was determined, and a set of

serial dilutions were analyzed to obtain a Beers Law plot. The concentration of CoCl26H2O in

an unknown was then determined by using Beers Law equation. Therefore, it can be concluded

that the unknown solutions concentration was 0.14M.

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I learned from this experiment that Spectrophotometry is used extensively in chemical analysis

and all types of this technology rely on the BeerLambert law. I realized that it is used in the

chlorine analyzers used in swimming pool and aquarium care. It is the basis of many if not

most clinical lab determinations. When we judge the concentration of our drinks using the

color, measured "by eyeball," we are actually using Beer's law.

Postlab Questions: (N/A)


Lab Manual: Spectrophotometry and the Beer-Lambert Law An Important Analytical Technique

in Chemistry Jon H. Hardesty, Ph.D. Collin County Community College Dept. of Chemistry