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Topic: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate  (Read 137684 times)

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Offline Kate

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Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« on: March 09, 2008, 12:32:53 PM »
Hello.

When mixing sulfuric acid with sodium carbonate the chemical reaction is:
Na2CO3 + H2SO4 -> Na2SO4 + H2O + CO2

Is there any safety precaution one should have one when doing this reaction ? Is there a visible reaction ?

Thanks.:)

Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 12:43:16 PM »
Do you have a guess?

physical states will be helpful here.
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Offline Kate

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 01:33:01 PM »
I think there should be a visible reaction because one of the reaction products is CO2(g). But I don't know if there's any safety precaution I should have when doing this reaction.

Offline enahs

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 01:37:51 PM »
Any and all safety precautions when dealing with sulfuric acid.

And do not just throw in a bunch of sodium carbonate at once. If too much product is being formed, and coming out as gas, it could cause splashing. Flying sulfuric acid is never a good thing.





Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 01:41:43 PM »
depending on the concentration of the two reactants and the rate at which they are mixed, there may be a very vigorous reaction - and if your flask has a small neck, the 'spill' may become a 'volcano'

You usually see acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate, but the same principle applies: youtube

Oh, and always use all common safety precautions when working with chemicials in lab :)
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Offline Kate

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2008, 02:06:32 PM »
Oh, and always use all common safety precautions when working with chemicials in lab :)

Apart from the safety precautions when dealing with sulfuric acid and other reactants, I should be careful in this particular reaction because of the CO2 (g) right ?

Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2008, 02:11:06 PM »
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because of the CO2 (g) right ?

Yes.  That and the possible bubbling/volcano effect.
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Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 02:12:24 PM »
What safety precautions are you going to suggest a researcher take?

Besides from personal protective equipment (goggles, etc), there are operational precautions one may take to reduce the risk of volcano - do you know what other precautions one might take?
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Offline Arkcon

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2008, 02:16:00 PM »
CO2 is denser than air, and displaces it.  A bench top experiment doesn't pose a particular hazard in this regard, unless you tend to take naps on the bench top or floor.  At an industrial scale, large amounts of accumulated CO2 can be dangerous -- from what I've heard, at least once a year someone, somewhere in the world, working at winery or brewery becomes overcome, falls into a vat, and drowns.
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Offline Kate

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2008, 02:38:11 PM »
Besides from personal protective equipment (goggles, etc), there are operational precautions one may take to reduce the risk of volcano - do you know what other precautions one might take?

No, I don't. But I'd very much like to know.

Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2008, 02:40:05 PM »
Quote
depending on the concentration of the two reactants and the rate at which they are mixed, there may be a very vigorous reaction

How might knowing this help you devise some safety precautions to avoid eruption?  Temperature control can also help, but probably not much on a small scale
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Offline Kate

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 02:55:08 PM »
Well, in order to avoid eruption the concentration of the reactants should be low and while doing the reaction I should slowly add one of the reactants to the other.

Offline azmanam

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Re: Sulfuric acid + Sodium carbonate
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2008, 03:14:36 PM »
Yup.  Keep it cold and you're all set for a boring, non-volcano :)
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