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The Rate of Decomposition of Calcium CarbonateInquiry Lab Kit for AP® Chemistry uses two approaches to guide students in measurement and analysis of rate law evidence. Comparing results reinforces lab skills.

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Big Idea 4, Investigation 10, Primary Learning Objective 4.1

What factors determine how fast a chemical reaction will occur? The answer has applications not just in chemistry, but also food science, engineering, and even art and architecture. Consider the weathering of beautiful marble statues from antiquity! In this advanced inquiry lab, students learn how reaction rates are measured and how concentration affects the rate of a reaction as they design kinetics experiments for the heterogeneous reaction of calcium carbonate with hydrochloric acid. The investigation begins with an introductory activity in which students observe and measure the gradual evolution of carbon dioxide gas from the decomposition of calcium carbonate with acid. Special equipment is provided for this purpose. The procedure provides a model for guided-inquiry design of kinetics experiments to determine the rate of reaction with different concentrations of acid. Using a cooperative classroom approach, students compare data obtained from measurements of both mass loss and volume of gas generation versus time. Students also employ graphical analysis to determine initial reaction rates. Other factors, such as the effect of particle size in a heterogeneous reaction, provide opportunities for further inquiry. The lab fulfills key learning objectives relating to experimental measurements and interpretation of results for rate law determinations. Comparing results from two approaches reinforces science practice skills for evaluating sources of data.

Complete for 24 students working in pairs. Common laboratory equipment is required and available separately.