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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 12 Issue 4 (2007) pp 245-246

Precipitation Reactions by Name Instead of Formula

Matthew G. Marmorino

Department of Chemistry, Indiana University South Bend, 1700 Mishawaka Ave. P.O. Box 7111, South Bend, IN 46634,

Received October 9, 1006. Accepted June 3, 2007.

Published online: 4 August 2007

Abstract. When the substances in a precipitation reaction are referred to by name only and not by formula, the prediction of products is very simple, essentially requiring only solubility rules. This allows a discussion of precipitation reactions that avoids the assignment of charge to ions, combining cations and ions in neutral proportions, and balancing the chemical equation. This is helpful to instructors who might wish to introduce such reactions earlier in a course and to students who are having problems with the memorization and relation of ion name, formula, and charge. With the ability to work with precipitation reactions without such details, a student may become better motivated to learn the details and develop an appreciation for nomenclature that is often lacking. Mnemonics for solubility rules are also presented.

Key Words: In the Classroom; general chemistry; precipitation reactions; nomenclature

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Article in PDF format (34 KB) HTML format page numbers updated 9/15/07

Issue date: August 4, 2007

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