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AP Chemistry

The Hand
Does the
Heat Come
Lab #13

Mattie Wasiak

The purpose of this lab was to determine which substances should be used to create
the most effective hand warmer through calorimetry while taking into account price
and safety.


100 mL graduated cylinder
Sodium chloride
Anhydrous calcium chloride
Anhydrous sodium carbonate
2 8 oz polystyrene cups with wooden cover or lid
Dixie cups or weighing boats
Anhydrous sodium acetate
Magnetic stirrer with stir bars or stirring rod
Lithium chloride
Magnesium sulfate
Ammonium nitrate


Place 100 mL of water in a 150 mL beaker. Heat to approximately 50C.

Place 100 mL of room temperature water (20C) in the calorimeter.
Measure the temperature of the hot and cold water and record.
Immediately pour the hot water sample into the calorimeter and put on the
over. Record the final temperature.

Heat of solution:
1. Dissolve 5 grams of each solid in 50 mL of water.
2. Measure the initial and final temperature and record.
3. Determine which raises the temperature of the water the most.
We tested Na2CO3, NaCl and CaCl2.


Cold Water

Mass (g)
Initial Temperature (C)
Final Temperature (C)


Hot Water

Trial 1



Trial 2

Cost per 500


Enthalpy change of cold water:


= 24.1 19.4 = 4.7

Q = 100 x 4.18 x 4.7 = 1964.6

This process is endothermic meaning that heat was absorbed because the enthalpy
is positive.

Enthalpy change of hot water:


= 24.1 50 = -25.9

Q = 100 x 4.18 x -25.9 = -10826.2

The process is exothermic meaning that heat was released because the enthalpy is

Calorimeter enthalpy change:

10826.2-1964.6 = 8861.6
Calorimeter constant: 8861.6/24.1 = 367.7

Na2CO3 enthalpy of dissociation:

Change in temperature = 5
Q = 55 x 4.18 x 5 = 1149.5
Q = 1149.5 + (367.7 x 5) = 2988
Moles: 5 / 83 = .06 moles

H soln

= 2988/.06 = 49800 J/mole or 49.8 kJ/mole

NaCl enthalpy of dissociation:

Change in temperature = -.6
Q = 55 x 4.18 x -.6 = -137.94
Q = -137.94 + (367.7 x -.6) = -358.56
Moles: 5 / 58.5 = .085 moles

H soln

= -358.56 / .085 = -4218.35 J/mole or -4.23 kJ/mole

CaCl2 enthalpy of dissociation:

Change in temperature = 5.2
Q = 55 x 4.18 x 5.2 = 1195.8
Q = 1195.8 + (367.7 x 5.2) = 3107.52
Moles: 5 / 111 = .045

H soln

= 3107.52 / .045 = 69056 J/mole or 69.06 kJ/mole

Out of the three solutions tested, CaCl2 is the most effective hand warmer and costs
$6.55 per 500 grams. About 37.2 grams would be needed to raise the temperature
by 20 degrees. This would lead to a cost of about $.5.

Postlab Assessment
1. Na2CO3 and CaCl2 were exothermic processes as the reaction caused the
temperature of the water to increase meaning heat was released. NaCl was
an endothermic process because the reaction caused the temperature of the
water to decrease meaning heat was absorbed.
2. Na2CO3 (s) 2Na+ + CO3-2
CaCl2 (s) Ca2+ + 2ClNaCl (s) Na+ + Cl-

H soln

H soln

H soln

= -49.8 kJ/mole

= -69.06 kJ/mole

= 4.23 kJ/mole

3. Dissolving is an intermediate change because dissolving results from

chemical reactions as seen in the equations above. This means that there is a
change in the chemical properties of the particles. However, the change of
the state of matter can be changed. The dissolved particles can return to its
solid state through evaporation which is a physical process. This shows that
dissolving a substance is an intermediate change.
4. Na2CO3 actual
CaCl2 actual
NaCl actual

H soln

H soln
H soln

is -23.9. This lends a percent error of 108.4%.

is -80.1. This lends a percent error of 13.8%.

is 3.7. This lends an error of 14.3%.

5. There are many possibilities for error. Heat may have escaped from the
system due to us not closing the calorimeter system quickly enough. Also, we
assumed the solutions had the same heat capacity as water which was
probably not the case. However, for the most part, our percent errors were
relatively small (except Na2CO3). I believe that this experiment should be
repeated with more trials and with a more accurate way of retaining heat.

Using calorimetry, we were able to determine the enthalpy of solution for three salts
known as Na2CO3, NaCl and CaCl2. We determined that the most effective salt to
create a hand-warmer with would be CaCl2 as this had the greatest enthalpy. We
used the total solution mass, change in temperature and heat capacity of the
solution in order to determine the heat of solution of the salts. We also used the
heat capacity of the calorimeter (found from calibrating the calorimeter) in order to
make up for any heat absorbed by the calorimeter. Finally, we divided this by the
number of moles in order to find the heat of solution.
CaCl2 produced the greatest temperature change in comparison with the number of
moles used. CaCl2 is relatively safe as compared with other possibly toxic materials
and is also relatively cost effective as it would cost only 50 cents to warm up water
20 degrees Celsius.
Main sources of errors were discussed in question 5 of the post-lab assessment.
However, to recap, there were many possible sources. Some heat could have easily
escaped from the system during the reaction through the lid that had to be kept
open for a small period of time to put the salt in. Also, we assumed that the heat
capacity of the solutions were the same as that of water and this would cause
skewed results also. Overall, I think this experiment was pretty successful, but if we
repeated it, I would add more trials and also test the other substances.