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Acid Spill Lab Essay

2488 words - 10 pages

Analyzing an Acid Spill

Background Information :
Sulfuric acid is a dense, colourless, oily, corrosive liquid that is soluble in water prepared industrially by the reaction of water with sulfur trioxide. The formula H2SO4, displays that there are two hydrogen atoms and one sulphate polyatomic ion. Sulfuric acid has a pH level of 1, which means it is extremely acidic and has a large amount of H+ ions. It is widely used in the manufacture of chemicals, like in making hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulfate salts, synthetic detergents, dyes and pigments, explosives, and drugs. (Mansur G. Abdullah, 2014).
Sulfuric acid is manufactured by a long process that starts with sulfur being ...view middle of the document...

When in contact with sulphuric acid it corrodes roads and other substances it comes in contact with, so all people must be evacuated and moves into a safer location. If there happens to be an acid spill on land, Some chemicals released may result in health hazards such as fires or explosions. Other chemical releases may present health threats because of their ability to spread rapidly and enter the body. Spills may release into the atmosphere, discharge into the sewer system, or leak directly into soils or surface water. It is necessary to notify the appropriate authorities if a spill has the potential to cause environmental damage, and evacuate the area if there are people nearby, because the people near could be effected or harmed by the chemicals. (J,Heweit,2013)

Testable Question: What is the effect of time (days) on the pH levels of sulfuric acid samples that were collected from the river.
Independent Variable: Time (Days)
Dependent Variable: The acidity of the sulfuric acid solution (Sodium Hydroxide Drops)

Control Variables:
Controls: | How it will be controlled: | Why: |
Amount on bromothymol blue | 8 drops | If there is the same amount of bromothymol blue added in each test tube then it is ensured that there will be a constant colour being compared during the test. |
Air temperature | 20 degrees Celsius (room temperature) | The higher the temperature the more it speeds up reactions because the particles collide faster. |
Amount of sulphuric acid | 10mL | If there is the same amount of sulphuric acid added into each test tube then it is ensures that there will be a constant substance being compared during the test. |

If the time Increases, the acidity of each solution will decrease and the amount of sodium hydroxide it takes to neutralize the sulfuric acid solution to a pH of 7 will decrease because the pH levels of the sulfuric solution will be less each day as it moves downstream and breaks down.

Sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide are corrosive liquids.
Close toed shoes should be worn.
If sulfuric acid comes in contact with combustible materials, it may cause a fire or an explosion.
If sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide is spilled on skin, eyes or face, wash immediately with cold water
Do not inhale or swallow sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide.

Materials | Chemicals |
Goggles | Dilute sodium hydroxide |
Pipette | Bromothymol blue indicator |
125mL Erlenmeyer flask | Seven contaminated river water samples labeled from day 1 to day 7 |
10 mLGraduated cylinder | |

10 mL of the Day 1 sulfuric acid and water solution was measured into a graduated cylinder
The 10 mL of solution was transferred into an Erlenmeyer flask.
Seven drops of bromothymol blue indicator was then added into the solution.

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