Soda Ash Experiment

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Title

Soda Ash: Great for the economy but detrimental to the body; So why is it involved in everyday life?

Abstract

Sodium carbonate, Na₂CO₃, commonly known as soda ash is used in the manufacturing of many economically important products such as the manufacturing of glass, chemicals, paper and detergents. Since sodium carbonate has a strong base, it is commonly used to neutralize acidic effects. Soda ash has a high pH in concentrated solutions and can irritate the eyes and skin as well as cause corrosion of the stomach lining if ingested. To determine the efficiency of a titrimetric and potentiometric method while determining the carbonate in soda ash, both a t-test and f-test were performed. The t-test proved accuracy between methods and the f-test proved no difference in precision.

Introduction

Soda ash is a white anhydrous material that be found in either powder or granular form and it contains 99% sodium carbonate when shipped[i] (1). Soda ash serves a purpose in the manufacturing of many economically important products such as the manufacturing of glass, chemicals, paper, detergents and other products.

Soda ash has been used dating all the way back to 3500 BC by the Egyptians. The Egyptians were able to utilize soda ash then in the production of glass and then as an ingredient in medicines and breads by the Romans (1). Today, the majority of the world’s soda ash comes from trona ore, which is mostly found in the Green River Basin, formerly known as the Gosiute Lake, located in southwest Wyoming. The Green River basin is actually a prehistoric alkaline lakebed that supplies this vast amount of trona ore (1).

With glass manufacturing being the largest application of soda ash, it serves very high importance in the production of containers, fiberglass insulation or flat glass for housing commercial building and automotive industries[ii] (2). Not only is the use of soda ash in glass manufacturing important, but it is also used to clean the air and soften water (2). With all of the new arising concerns with the environment with emissions in the atmosphere, the demand for soda ash has increased. This is so because soda ash can be used to remove sulfur dioxides and hydrochloric acid from stack gases present in the atmosphere (2).

Since sodium carbonate has a strong base, it is commonly used to neutralize acidic effects so when a photographer were to develop film, he would use soda ash to stabilize the alkaline condition or a person who owns a pool would use it as an additive to chemically neutralize the water since chlorine makes the pool acidic (1).

Soda ash has a high pH in concentrated solutions and can irritate the eyes, respiratory tract and skin. It should under no circumstance be ingested because soda ash can corrode the stomach lining (1).

In the experiment that was conducted Na₂CO₃ reacted with 0.09356 M hydrochloric acid.

Methods

In the first part of this lab, roughly 1.855g of sodium carbonate was weighed and put in the oven to dry at a temperature of 110 degrees Celsius for 2 hours. In part B, a 1 L solution of 0.1 M HCl from 12.0 M concentrated HCl was made to serve as the titrant for the lab. Do not discard the solution because it is used for both parts of the lab. Perform a rough titration of the dried standard Na₂CO₃ with 0.1M HCl to standardize the solution. The size of the sample weighed out should be enough to neutralize about 25 mL of 0.1 M HCl. On an analytically weighed balance weigh one sample of the dried primary standard sodium carbonate into a 125mL Erlenmeyer flask. Dilute the sample with 25mL of de-ionized water and then add roughly 4-5 drop of indicator Methyl Orange and titrate the solution to a point prior to the endpoint. Gently heat the sample solution on a hotplate in the fume hood until condensation appears around the neck of the flask to expel dissolved CO₂ from the sample. Cool the solution in an ice bath and finish titrating the roughly 0.1 M HCl into the...
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