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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 67-71

Making Connections Between Calorimetry and Acid-Base Chemistry in the Laboratory

Frazier Nyasulu*, Dylan Bobbitt, Phyllis Arthasery, Lauren McMills and Rebecca Barlag

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens OH 45701,
Received October 13, 2014. Accepted January 20, 2015.

Published: 24 March 2015

Abstract. In this laboratory exercise, students determine the enthalpy of thirteen acid-base reactions covering the entire scope of acid-base reaction types; strong acid-strong base, weak acid-strong base, strong acid-weak base, and weak acid-weak base. Students work in groups of six during two three-hour laboratory sessions with each pair of students within the group of sixdetermining the enthalpy of 3–4 acid-base reactions and sharing their results with the rest of the group; the experimental procedures are identical. This group work allows more reactions to be analyzed than otherwise possible, work to be completed that would be too difficult on an individual basis, and mastery of concepts. Target student learning outcomes include the ability to: predict theproducts of acid-base reactions, balance chemical equations, write net ionic equations, determine the enthalpy of reactions, verify and apply Hess’s law, and identify and explain trends.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; collaborative/cooperative learning; hands-on learning/manipulatives; acids/bases; aqueous solution chemistry; calorimetry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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