Explore Lab: Chemical Reactions

Our goal in lab today was to observe multiple different types of chemical reactions. Each group was assigned two reactions to complete. My partner and I performed Reaction 1 (copper wool combines with oxygen) and Reaction 4 (Decomposition of sodium hydrogen carbonate). We observed the reactions and balanced the chemical reaction equation.

For the copper wool reaction, the balanced chemical reaction was 4Fe + 3O2 = 2Fe2 + 2O3, and for the NaHCO3 experiment, 2NaHCO3= 2H2O + O2. . A chemical reaction can be indicated in one or more of three ways: change in color, production of gas/condensation, or change in temperature. The evidence of a chemical reaction was apparent in the lab today by the change in color, popping, and burning of the wool in reaction one, and in reaction four, the production of condensation at the mouth of the test tube suggested such. These observations prove that our reactions were actual chemical reactions.

Subsequent to a lengthy discussion, we realized that the reactions were organized into sections. The reactions in each section had something similar. For example, section one yielded one product, section two had a single reactant, section 3 had an element and a compound in both the reactants and the products, section four resulted in a switch in compounds (see below balanced reactions), and section five had a reaction producing carbon dioxide and water. A unique model can be created for each reaction section because each section had a unique chemical  reaction in terms of what it produced. Products of reactions can be predicted because if the reactants are known, and the type of reaction (what “section”), then that information can be used to determine the products of the reactions. 



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