Monday, October 19, 2020

Activity: Types of Reactions—Synthesis (Burning Iron)

General Chemistry Index

Where are we going with this? This page will assist in developing the ability to describe, classify, and give examples of various kinds of reactions: synthesis (i.e., combination), decomposition, single displacement, double displacement, acid/base, and combustion.

Activity: Types of Reactions—Synthesis (Burning Iron)

Background Information: Types of Reactions

The purpose of this activity is to provide hands-on experience using laboratory techniques to observe a synthesis reaction. Because the reaction includes oxygen and energy is given off in the form of heat and light, it is also arguably an example of combustion.

Evidence of the reaction is easily seen in a color change of the steel wool.

Additionally, for more advanced students, the discussion of the procedures highlights errors in procedure and techniques.

The reaction that will be performed is a synthesis reaction combining iron and oxygen:

4Fe + 3O2 →  2Fe2O3

The iron is located in steel wool and the oxygen is provided by the earth atmosphere. The reaction is induced by introducing heat, then it continues producing more heat and light.

Link to activity worksheet:  CLICK HERE

The video below has three parts:
  • Setup and Procedures
  • Result
  • Discussion

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