Acid Base Characteristics of Oxides Across the periodic Table

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Last updated: May 8, 2019

* Pipettes (2)* Tweezers* Spatula (2)* Universal Indicator Paper* Hydrochloric Acid (2M)* Sodium Hydroxide (2M)* Sodium Oxide* Magnesium Oxide* Aluminium Oxide* Silicon Dioxide* Test Tubes (12)* Distilled WaterMethod:1. After collecting the required apparatus place the same suitable amount of Sodium Oxide (Na2O) in three different test tubes.2.

In the first test tube add an appropriate amount of distilled water and observe if a reaction occurs. Record these observations. In the solution produced add a small strip of Universal Indicator Paper and record the pH level.3. In the second test tube add an appropriate amount of Hydrochloric Acid. Observe and record the reaction.4. In the third test tube add Sodium Hydroxide in an appropriate amount.

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Observe and record the reaction.5. Repeat these steps for Magnesium Oxide (MgO), Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3) and Silicon Oxide (SiO2).NOTE: Phosphorus Pentoxide and Sulfur Dioxide were performed by the teacher.Data Collection:Table 1: Appearance Of OxidesOxide NameAppearanceSodium OxideWhite (creamy), crystallised, clumpedMagnesium OxidePowdered, white, very fine, fluffy, slightly grainyAluminium OxideExtremely fine powder, white, silkySilicon DioxideBeige brown colour with darker and lighter specks, grainyPhosphorus PentoxideWhite fine powderSulfur DioxideClear colourless gasTable 2: Reaction Of Oxides With WaterOxide NameReactionpHAcid/BaseObservationsSodium OxideYes11BaseNo real changeMagnesium OxideYes8BaseWent cloudy white, magnesium that was not dissolved went to the top, then fell down to the bottomAluminium OxideNo6NeutralFizzled a little at the start, went cloudy then sediment quickly fell to the bottomSilicon DioxideNo7NeutralDidn’t do anythingPhosphorus PentoxideYes1AcidDissolves instantaneously, gives off heat, loud pop, cloudySulfur DioxideYes2AcidGas in the airTable 3: Reaction Of Oxides With An Acid (Hydrochloric Acid 2M)Oxide NameReactionObservationSodium OxideYesFoam quite vigorous, fizzled high in tube, dropped and fizzles until all oxide was dissolvedMagnesium OxideYesCompletely dissolved very quickly, gave a thin layer of smoke over the top of the liquid and left small bubbles in liquidAluminium OxideNoNo reaction, cloudy then formed a sedimentSilicon DioxideYesFizzled to the top of the test tube, kept on doing this for a small period of time then bubbles in liquidPhosphorus Pentoxide-Fizzles at the start, hard to tell if the water in the acid reacting of the acid. Gives off a little bit of heatSulfur DioxideN/AN/ATable 4: Reaction Of Oxides With A Base (Sodium Hydroxide 2M)Oxide NameReactionObservationSodium OxideNoNo reactionMagnesium OxideNoNo reactionAluminium OxideNoNo reactionSilicon DioxideNoNo reactionPhosphorus Pentoxide-Fizzled a little more than acid, quite warm again could be water in solutionSulfur DioxideN/AN/AConclusion:The results obtained were inconclusive but suggested that the trend across a period is that it gets more acidic and less basic. Going across a period result in elements loosing their metallic properties.

This results in the oxides of metals tending to be basic, whilst the oxides of non-metals have a tendency to be acidic.Table 2 (Reaction Of Oxides With Water) shows the above conclusion to be true. The results in the literature1 show that the nature of the oxides of period 3 elements go from basic to amphoteric to acidic. This agrees with the results obtained in the tests done with distilled water. The other tests of Hydrochloric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide however do not show any sort of trend in the data obtained.Improvements to the procedure:* Testing the same ideas on a different period to see if the theories produced are true for all elements.* Also try testing electricity conductivity of each of these oxides and seeing if there is any relationship between the two.* Also to determine trends across a period doing these tests with chlorides of the elements.* Using different types of acids and bases to see which ones give off the proper reaction that suits the literature and clearly shows whether an oxide is acidic or basic.1 Chemistry for the IB Diploma – Standard and Higher Level, pg 13-14

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