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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

9.5 Industrial Chemistry,

1. Replacements for natural products.

Dot 1: Discuss the issues associated with shrinking world resources with
regard to one identified natural product that is not a fossil fuel, identifying
the replacement material used and/or current research in place to find a
replacement for the named material.

Rubber: before 1940s people got rubber from rubber trees in tropics. Demand greatly
increased in WWII for tires scientists in Germany and US developed synthetic
polymers that could replace rubber. Today at least about 80% of worlds rubber
production is synthetic polymers.

Dot 2: Identify data, gather and process information to identify and discuss
the issues associated with the increased need for a natural resource that is
not a fossil fuel and evaluate the progress currently being made to solve the
problems identified.

There is an increased need for petroleum products because modern society relies on
it so much as an energy source and as a raw material from which polymers are
made. As population demand and soon the natural product wont be able to
catch up.
The problem is that it is a finite and non-renewable resource and will eventually run
out and other sources of energy will need to be used. To solve this problem research
is being done to make renewable ethanol more easier to extract from glucose with
out wasting so much energy. Other solutions may be use of solar or nuclear power
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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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2. Equilibrium reactions.
Dot 1: Explain the effect of changing the following factors on identifies
equilibrium reactions:



Concentration of reactants.


Pressure it will shift to the side with less pressure. I.e. less moles of gas.
If you the pressure it will shift to the side with more moles of gas to try to increase the
pressure compensate for the change.

Volume. If you volume you the pressure, and the volume and you the pressure

Concentration of reactants: If you the [] the reactoion will shift to the other

side and try to the []

Temperature. If the temp is the reaction would shift to the endothermic side (absorb
heat) and the temp is it would shift to the exothermic side to release heat and resist the
change that caused it.

Dot 2: Interpret the equilibrium constant expression (no units required)

from the chemical equation of equilibrium reactions.
aA + bB ' cC + dD

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Industrial Chemistry Notes


Daniel le

[C ]c [ D]d
[ A]a [ B]b

If K is bigger, reaction leans towards the right (>1)

K is smaller, reaction leans towards the left k< 1
If k= 1 this equilibrium is balanced.

The equation only includes aq and gas states.

However it includes liquid states where there is more than 1 liquid in the reaction. This is
because solid and liquids dose not have []s
Eg sulphur dioxide is reacted with oxygen to give sulphur trioxide initially there was
0.06mol/L of sulphur dioxide and 0.05mol/L of oxygen. At steady state (reach
equilibrium) the [] of sulphur trioxide is 0.04mol/L work out the constant k
2SO2 (g) + O2 2S O3

[C ]c [ D]d
(Pork) product over the reactant
[ A]a [ B]b
[0.04]2/[0.02] 2*[0.03]
=133.3 leans toward the right
Note: k-1 is a backward reaction = 1/k forward reaction
Same for product and reactant are swapped

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 3: Identify that temperature is the only factor that changes the value of
the equilibrium constant (K) for a given equation.

Temp is the only factor that can change K for any govern equation
3. Sulfuric Acid.
Dot 1 Outline three uses of sulfriuc acid in industry

1. Catalyst used to dehydrate ethanol to ethene: cause of its high affinity for water
2. Electrolyte in lead-acid car batteries: ability to form insoluble PbSO4. This keeps
[Pb2+] low so battery delivers a more constant voltage.
3. Steel processing (pickling) H2SO4 used to remove rust from steel before
galvanizing, tinning or applying powder coatings: because it is strong oxidant and
Dot 2: Describe the processes used to extract sulfur from mineral deposits,
identifying the properties of sulfur which allow its extraction and analysing
potential environmental issues that may be associated with its extraction.

1/ Add superheated water down water tube melts S(s) and form H2O emulsion (droplets
of 1 liquid with another)
2/ puresed air is piped down center tube
3/ S- H2O emulsion is pushed up middle tube
4/ Cool emulsion S(s) separated from liquid water (99.5% s obtained)
Properties of E
1/ low Mp 9melted by water)
2/ low density
3/ low soulable

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 3: Outline the steps and conditions necessary for the industrial
production of H2SO4 from its raw materials.

1/ Liquid sulfur is spread into the air containing excess O2 at 1ATM pressure ( The air is
passing through Sulfuric acid.)
I.e. Sulfur is combusted this makes lots of heat so then can cool gas (SO2) 1000 C
400 C for the next step
N.B most H2SO4 plants are put near smelters eg Cu Zn to get free or cheap SO2 for
roasting of ores
S(g) + O2 (g) SO2 (g)
2/ SO2 are passed through 3 catalytic bed. Contains O2 and V2O5 Cat at slightly greater
than 1 atm. The SO2 is first reacted with O2 at 550 C producing only 70% yield of SO3.
then the 2 bed at a lower temp produces only which produces 97% yield. The SO3
produced is extracted and then passed through the remaining SO3 is passed through
producing 97.97% yield of SO3

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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N.B All reaction is exothermic and so integrating the energy to power plants are cost
effective and massive environmental damages.
3/ the air contains 78% of nitrogen 21% of O2 and < 1% of CO2 product are directly
reacted with water than CO2 and nitrogen forming carbonic acid and nitric acid as well as
acidic well as H2SO4 . these impurities are very difficult to sperate from H2SO4 and so
more insurity method is required
We react H2SO4 H2S2O7. this help to get rid of the impurities since CO2 and HNO3 do
not react with H2SO4 you then diluted H2S2O7 (oleum) with water 2H2SO4

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

Dot 4: Describe the reaction conditions necessary for the production of SO2
and SO3.

Tempture Condition: for the pressure of SO2 a lot of heat is produce so the product must
be cool from 1000C 400C for the next step. For the production of SO3 relatively
low temp 550C and 400C so that the exothermic reaction is shifted towards the Right
for more yield.
Pressure in both reaction vessel pressure which is slightly higher then 1atm is used. To
shift to the side with less moles of gas and more yield produced.
[] of O2 is slightly excess also shift the reaction to the right and a catylast of V2O5 is used
to increase the reaction rate.

Dot 6: Describe, using examples, the reactions of sulfuric acid acting as:

An oxidising agent.

A dehydrating agent.

An oxidising agent.

C (s) + 2H2SO4 (aq) CO2 (g) + 2H2O (g) + 2SO2

Any Metal + Acid rection
H2SO4 (aq) + Mg MgSO4 + H2

A dehydrating agent.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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(Add equation in)

Dot 7: Describe and explain the exothermic nature of Sulfuric ionisation.

The ionisation of H2SO4

H2SO4 2H+ + SO4
In any reaction a breaking of covalent bond requires engery and formation of a bond
releases energy. A balance of the values would determine weather the reaction would be
exothermic or endothermic.
The reaction of water with H2SO4
H2SO4 (l) + H2O (l) H3O+ (aq) + HSO4- (aq)

. Dot 8: Identify and describe safety precautions that must be taken when using and
diluting concentrated Sulfuric acid
Since the dilution of concentrated sulfuric acid is extremely exothermic, safety
precautions should be taken when using and diluting it. These include:

Always add the acid to the water and not the other way around.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Always wear safety goggles (since it can splash into the eye and cause serious
permanent damage).

Wear protective gloves and a laboratory coat or apron (because sulfuric acid is
very corrosive to skin and clothing).

Work near a ready supply of running water (to wash off or dilute any splashes to
the body or clothing).

Have a supply of sodium carbonate or hydrogen carbonate at hand to neutralise

any spills.

Dot 9: Gather, process and present information from secondary sources to describe
the steps and chemistry involved in the industrial production of H2SO4 and use
available evidence to analyse the process to predict ways in which the output of
sulfuric acid can be maximised.
See dot point 3.3

Dot 10: Use available evidence to relate the properties of sulfuric acid to safety
precautions necessary for its transport and storage.
When transporting [] of H2SO4 (98%) it is ok to use a still sense this [] has no ions and
so cant react with metal which adds to the diluting and safety of transportation.
However we must be careful not to contaminate with H2O.If you add H2O to the steel
contior there will be ions form and corrode the contionor

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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4.Industrial Production of Sodium Hydroxide.

Dot 1: Explain the difference between galvanic cells and electrolytic cells in terms of
energy requirements.
A galvanic cell is a device in which a chemical reaction generates electricity (chemical
energy to electrical energy). Electrolysis is a process in which electrical energy is used to
bring about a chemical change (electrical to chemical energy).

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Galvanic/Voltaic Cells

Electrolytic Cells

Chemical energy

Electrical energy

electrical energy


Two half-cells with separate electrolytes and a

Electrodes usually in the same

salt bridge (or porous barrier).


Chemical reaction is spontaneous

Chemical reaction is forced by

Eo total is positive

applying a voltage - it is not

Eo total is negative

Anode - negative terminal

Anode - positive electrode

Cathode - positive terminal

Cathode - negative electrode

Oxidation always occurs at the anode the

Oxidation occurs at the anode

galvanic cell is a battery, releasing electrons

into the circuit from the anode so the anode is
the negative terminal of the battery. As it gives

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

up electrons, the anode becomes more positive

and attracts negative ions from the solution

Electrons flow from the negative terminal to

Electrons flow from the negative

the positive terminal

battery terminal to the negative


Uses - batteries

Uses - Extract Al from Al2O3

- Electroplating
- Purifying copper

Dot 2: Outline the steps in industrial production of sodium hydroxide from sodium
chloride solution and describe the reaction in terms of net ionic and full formulae
Industrial synthesis of NaOH uses electrolytes brine ([] NaCl solution) there are 3 mthods
but generally 2NaCl + 2Water 2NaOH + H2+cl2
Dot 3: Distinguish between the three electrolysis methods used to extract sodium

Mercury process.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Diaphragm process.

Membrane process.

Daniel le

By describing each process and analysing the technical and environmental

difficulties involved in each process.


Mercury Cell

Diaphragm Cell Membrane Cell

Mercury flowing

Steel mesh

Stainless steel

over steel

Water reduced

or Ni

Sodium ions

Water reduced


Na/Hg amalgam

NaOH, NaCl,


(Cl2 and brine are H2

NaOH, H2
(membrane will
not let Cl or


(Have to be



OH through)



Anode product Cl2



Purity of

[NaOH] is about

[NaOH] is only

[NaOH] is 30-


50 %

about 11 %

40 %


NaOH & H2 made

in a decomposer



(produces purest

Operating voltage Operating



4-4.5 volts

voltage 3-4

voltage 4-5

volts and may

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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become lower






Older cells


problems with use contain asbestos


of Hg & its



Chlorine is a toxic gas

Check for leaks, protective breathing

apparatus must be carried at all times and
showers easily accessible

Corrosive action of

Maintenance is expensive

salt, chlorine and

Metal pipes, bricks and aluminium surfaces

sodium hydroxide


Hydrogen will react

Check for leaks, especially in diaphragm and

explosively with

membrane cells

chlorine or oxygen
Mercury is toxic.

Check for leaks, safe disposal of waste

Uses lots of electricity

Electric currents create heat and magnetic

The size of the gap between electrodes must
be controlled by means of computers. The
smaller the gap, the lower the operating

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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voltage and hence the lower the costs of

Quality control

- Concentration of NaOH (titration)
- Concentration of metal ions in brine (AAS)
- Moisture content of Cl2 (gravimetric
- Impurities such as H2 and O2 in the chlorine
(gas chromatography).

Dot 4: Identify data, plan and perform a first-hand investigation to identify the
products of the electrolysis of sodium chloride.

Practical: Sodium Hydroxide.

Aim: To identify the products of the electrolysis of sodium chloride.


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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

1. The following apparatus was set-up (voltammeter).

2. Universal indicator was added to the brine solution.

3. The voltammeter was filled with the brine (saturated NaCl solution).
4. Power was applied across the two terminals on the voltammeter and observations
were recorded.


Gas was observed to bubble from both terminals.

The negative terminal turned purple indicating the basicity of the solution
due to hydroxide ions.

Chlorine gas was detected by smell and hydrogen gas was detected by
using the pop test.

Dot 5: Analyse information from secondary sources to predict and explain the
different products of the electrolysis of aqueous and molten sodium chloride.
Electrolysis dilute NaCl.
At the anode possible candates of oxidation are Cl ions and H2O they stand
Cl Cl +e- -1.36 Volts

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H2O O2 + 2H+ + 2e- 1.23 Volts

Therefore H2O is more likely to be oxidised then Cl. Since it has a lower standard
potional then chlorine.
However in the diaphragm mercury the Cl is oxidised because we add the [] NaCl
solution which increase the [] of Chloride ions and changes the equilibrium position
chlorine more like to oxidised than water.
If the standard potional reaction decreases while the standard potional oxidation increases
eg -1.1Volts
3 H2O O2 + H2 (g) + 2OH- + 2 H+
3 H2O O2 + H2 (g) +3 H2O
[] NaCl solution
chlorine will be oxidised of it high []
[] NaCl with Hg Cathode
Oxidation: Cl- Cl2 (g) + Na (s)
Electrolysis of molten NaCl
No water therefore Cl get oxidised and Na get reduced same equation as the top but Na
dose not form Alumgum with Hg

5. Saponification.
Dot 1: Describe saponification as the conversion in basic solution of fats and oils to
glycerol and salts of fatty acids.
Esters can be converted back to the original alcohol and the sodium salt of the carboxylic
acid by heating them with sodium hydroxide solution. An alkyl alkanoate is converted
into an alkanol and an alkanoate anion.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

Ra-COO-Rb + OH- Ra-COO- + Rb-OH

Where Ra is one alkyl group and Rb is another alkyl group (Ra may be the same as Rb).
The reaction between an ester and hydroxide ion to form alcohol and a carboxylate anion
is called saponification. The carboxylate anion is often separated from the reaction
mixture by acidifying the mixture.

Ra-COO- + H+ Ra-COOH

This gives an overall reaction:

Ra-COO-Rb + H2O Ra-COOH + Rb-OH (H+ + OH- H2O)

Essentially, the overall process is a reaction with water. A reaction between a compound
and water is called hydrolysis. Saponification can be describes as the hydrolysis of an
ester under alkaline conditions.

Dot 2: Describe the conditions under which saponification can be performed in the
school laboratory and compare these with industrial preparation of soap.
Saponification in the School Lab
Starting materials are usually highly
refined (eg. pure olive oil, castor oil, or
coconut oil purchased from the
Materials used in small quantities
Boiling is required in both

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Industrial Preparation of Soap

Starting materials are raw, meaning that
usually processing and purification is
required before or after the synthesis of
the soap. (eg. common starting
materials include coconut oil, palm
kernel oil, and palm oil)
Materials used in large quantities (eg.
kettle used in Kettle Boiled Batch Process
can hold up to 130000kg of material)
Boiling is also required, but here, it is on

Industrial Chemistry Notes

Materials are added in at different stages

(olive oil, H2O, NaOH, and ethanol are
added in the beginning, boiled, then brine
is later added)
Heating is via a Bunsen burner, and
stirring is done manually

Daniel le
a much larger scale
Usually uses a batch process - where
everything is added at the beginning of
the reaction (fats and oils, caustic soda
(NaOH), salt, and water)
Heating and stirring is achieved by steam

Dot 3: Account for the cleaning action of soap by describing its nature.

The tail (hydrophobic) attracts onto the grease or dirt, because they are
The head is a hydrophilic (carboxylic group) which attracts to the water allows
the water to wash it off.
The sap from micelle structure with grease allows it to be dissolve in water,
emulsifying it.

N.B The negative head of the soap particle also prevents the dirt and grease particle from
the aggregating and resettling sine the (-) charge repeal each other. Dont become too
heavy for the water to (carry it off)
Water has a surface tension due to its high hydrogen bonding allowing the H2O to be wet
the surface because it slips right off.
Soap decrease the surface tension of the water surface of the water by having with its
hydrophilic head inside the water and with its hydrophobic stick above the surface of the
water disturbing the surface tension

Surfactant are substance that decrease the surface tension of water or alternatively that
soluble dirt and grease most surfactant do both eg soap is a surfactant

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 4: Explain that soap, water and oil together form an emulsion with the soap
acting as an emulsifier.

An emulsion occurs when a dispersion of small droplets of one liquid combine with
another liquid. When soap, water, and oil are combined, they form an emulsion, with the
soap acting as the emulsifier. This is because as the soap particles attach themselves to
the oily particles, they surround the particles with a barrier of negatively charged heads,
(the head of the soap particle). This causes the individual oil particles to repel each other
in the water and therefore create a dispersion of small droplets of one liquid in another
liquid (emulsion).

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 5: Distinguish between soaps and synthetic detergents in terms of:

The structure of the molecule.

Chemical composition.
Effect in hard water.

Made from




Fatty acids in animal and

Hydrocarbon chain from

vegetable oils


Sodium or potassium salts Usually hydrocarbons with a

of long chain (alkanoic)

sulfate or sulfonate end

fatty acids

Ionic or polar head &

Similar structure to soap -

long, non-polar

head & non-polar

hydrocarbon tail.

hydrocarbon tail


May be anionic, cationic or



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Alkanol from petroleum is

- Heating fats or oils

reacted with H2SO4 to form

(esters) with NaOH or

sulfonic acid


This is reacted with NaOH to

- Precipitation with

form sodium sulfonate

Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le
sodium chloride

Reaction with hard

Do not lather well in hard

Lather in hard water



Do not precipitate mineral

Soap anions form

salts in hard water

precipitates with cations

e.g. Ca2+ and Mg2+ in hard
water This forms a scum
in the water and on
clothes, making clothes
dull and grey


Biodegradable if hydrocarbon
chain is straight.
Non-biodegradable if
branched chain.


No phosphates

May be mixed with

phosphates that pollute the


Cheaper to make

More expensive

Not very soluble

Soluble in water
Do not deteriorate with age,

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le
Deteriorate with age.

very stable.

Soap doesnt work well in hard water cause Ca2+ and Mg2+ precipitate it out as a grey
scum. But cationic and non-ionic detergents are unaffected. Anionic are affected (but not
nearly as much as soap) because it can form soluble complexes with Ca2+ or Mg2+, which
ties up some of the soap molecules. Soaps and synthetic anionic detergents generate a lot
of foam. Non-ionic surfactants form much less foam than do the anionics.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Refer to Sheet.

Dot 6: Distinguish between anionic, cationic and non-ionic synthetic detergents in

terms of:

Chemical composition.


Common uses


Personal hygiene cause it is just right and a lot of foam


Laundry and dishwashing liquid it is more effective than soap and

therefore not used for personal hygiene as it removes too much oil.
These generate a lot of foam so not used in dishwashers or front-loading
washing machines.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes


Daniel le

Low foam so it is used in auto dishwasher powders, paints, pesticides

and cosmetics and washing machines.


Cleans plastics better then anionic and also adsorb onto hair and fibres to
stop static electricity and tangling and so is used in hair conditioner &
fabric softener. They are also effective biocides so used in disinfectants
and antiseptics. Not used for dishwashing cause it strongly attracts to
negative glass leaving it feeling oily.

Dot 7: Perform a first-hand investigation to carry out saponification and test the

olive oil 4 grams

10ml of water

NaOH 1 gram

Heat up in water bath for 30min

Let it cool down

Add NaCl for solution binds with water for principate and soap

test even amounts of soap made and factory soap put in test tube and add water shake
vigorously and look at number and longiebaity of suds (bubbles)

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 8: Gather, process and present information from secondary sources to identify a
range of fats and oils used for soap making.
Tallow: fat beef processing
Coconut Oil: dry coconut oil press out of dry fruit
Palm oil: fruit or palm tree (rather then nuts)
Dot 3: Perform a first-hand investigation to gather information and describe the
properties of a named emulsion and relate these properties to its uses.

Aim: To make vinaigrette / salad dressing (emulsion) and to relate its properties to
its uses.
4mL of olive oil where added to 2mL of brown vinegar (acetic acid), along
with a pinch of mustard powder as an emulsifying agent.
The mixture was then shook to form an emulsion.
The emulsion was then added to lettuce and taste tested.

Results / Properties of the vinaigrette:

Its taste (flavour), making it suitable as a salad dressing.

It sticks to the lettuce leaf better Lettuce leaves and other salad vegetables
have hydrophobic surfaces, meaning that straight vinegar runs off it. By
emulsifying the vinegar to oil, it sticks better, thus coating it, and giving it a
more even and pleasant flavour.

A vinaigrette was made, taste tested, and its properties where observed and related
to its uses.

Dot 4: Perform a first-hand investigation to demonstrate the effect of soap as an


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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le


Oil was added to water.

A mixture of Sudan III and methylene blue dyes were added.
Soap was added and the mixture shaken.
Sudan is soluble in oil; methylene blue is soluble in water.
Observations were recorded.
Control was used with no soap added.
Both were left for a week and observations recorded.

For the sample with soap, a clear red layer was at the top (Sudan III with oil), a clear blue
layer was on the bottom (Methylene blue in water) and a cloudy oil-in-water emulsion
layer was in the middle (small red stain droplets of oil were visible). The control was the
same but had no emulsion layer. After a week the emulsion layer remained. Six different
groups in class replicated the experiment.

Dot 5: Solve problems and use available evidence to discuss, using examples, the
environmental impacts of the use of soaps and detergents.
Complex agents added to laundry detergents to stop calcium and magnesium ions from
interfering with the action of the surfactant are called builders. Builders improve the
cleaning power of laundry detergents. One widely used builder is sodium
tripolyphosphate (Na5P3O10). It works in three ways: it buffers the solution to slightly
alkaline pH (surfactants work most efficiently), it complexes with calcium and

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magnesium ions and so stops them tying up surfactant anions and it stops removed dirt
from flocculating and re-settling on the clothes.
6. Solvay Process.
Dot 1: Identify the raw materials used in the Solvay process and name the products.
Raw material Brine CaCO3
Products: Na2CO3
Dot 2: Describe the uses if sodium carbonate.
The main uses for sodium carbonate are:

Glass making by melting a mixture of sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate and

sand (silicon dioxide).
Water treatment by removing calcium and magnesium via precipitate reactions
forming their carbonates.
Making soaps and detergents cheaper alternative to NaOH.
Paper making.
As a common base in chemical factories.
Making sodium hydrogen carbonate used as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate
and bicarbonate of soda) and in fire extinguishers. The NaHCO3 from Solvay is
contaminated with ammonia: heating to remove this decomposes NaHCO3 so
Na2CO3 + CO2 is a more efficient way of getting NaHCO3.
Removing sulfur dioxide from emitted gases in power stations.

Dot 3: Identify, given a flow chart, the sequence of steps used in the Solvay process
and describe the chemistry involved in:

Brine purification.
Hydrogen carbonate formation.
Formation of sodium carbonate.
Ammonia recovery.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

CaCO3 + 2NaCl CaCl2 + Na2CO3

1/ NaCl (aq) + NH3 (aq)
2 /CO2 (g) + H2O H2CO3 (NH3 NH4+ + HCO3)

HCO3- + Na+

3/ NaHCO3 is filter off and burnt

NaHCO3 Na2CO3 + CO2+ H2O
4/ Ca CO3 CaO + CO2
5/CaO + H2O Ca (OH) 2
6/ ammonia Recovery
Ca (OH) 2 + NH4 NH3 + CaCl2 + H2O

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 4: Discuss environmental issues associated with the Solvay process and explain
how these issues are addressed.
Disposal of CaCl2: -some used to de-ice roads but there is too much.
-Chuck in the sea since already heaps of Ca in there and
bicarbonate in sea buffers any residual alkali. Cl doesnt matter to
the ocean that much either
-Inland plants cant chuck in rivers/lakes cause not allowed to chuck
too much chlorine in it so need to evaporate CaCl2 to dryness and then
put in specially designed burial sites. CaCl is very soluble and will
leach out over time but small [Cl]s at a time is ok.
Ammonia losses: some come out but with good design and monitoring this can be kept
at acceptable levels. NH3 is air pollutant especially if discharged near cities.
Waste heat: exo so lots of waste heat. Plants near sea can discharge hot water with some
dilution (so no thermal pollution which can reduce DO) into sea. Inland
plants can use cooling ponds cause rivers/lakes are more sensitive.
Mining: care needed if brine wells or CaCO3 in sensitive areas.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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Dot 5: Perform a first-hand investigation to assess the risk factors and then carry
out a chemical step involved in the Solvay process, identifying any difficulties
associated with the laboratory modelling of the step.
Hydrogen carbonate formation
In the Solvay process, CaCO3 is decomposed to produce CO2 but we could not replicate
the high temperatures required for this decomposition in the laboratory. Instead, Na2CO3
was decomposed to produce CO2 because it required a lower temperature to decompose.
CaCO3 is favoured in the Solvay process, as it is readily available in large amounts and
also because Na2CO3 is the product produced in the process.

The following apparatus was set-up.

The sodium carbonate was heated and decomposed according to the following equation.
Na2CO3 CO2 + Na2O
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Industrial Chemistry Notes

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The gas produced was bubbled through limewater turning it from colourless to cloudy.
This indicates that the gas was carbon dioxide. The CO2 reacted with the calcium
hydroxide to produce a white precipitate.
CO2 + Ca(OH)2 CaCO3 + H2O

The process was repeated using water that contained a few drops of universal indicator
instead of the limewater. This turned the green indicator yellow. This was indicative that
the solution was acidic. Carbon dioxide reacted with the water to form carbonic acid,
acidifying the solution.
CO2 + H2O H2CO3
H2CO3 + H2O

HCO3- + H3O+

Technical difficulties encountered include the unsuccessful decomposition of calcium

carbonate by heating. Sodium carbonate was used as an alternative to obtain carbon
Risk assessment

This practical involved heating dry powder (sodium carbonate) in a glass test
tube. There is risk because the glass can crack so safety goggles were used to
prevent shards of glass damaging eyes.
After heating the test tube, the pipe connecting the sidearm to the limewater
should be removed. This is to prevent cold water being sucked into the test tube
by the change in pressure (decrease) and causes the hot glass to crack.
A blockage in the tube may cause a build up of pressure and cause the cork
stopper to pop. The stopper should be aimed in a direction as to prevent damage
to equipment and people.

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Industrial Chemistry Notes

Daniel le

Limewater is a basic solution that is corrosive. Goggles were used to prevent

contact with eyes and care was taken to avoid contact with skin.

Dot 2: Process information to solve problems and quantitatively analyse the relative
quantities of reactants and products in each step of the process.
Dot 3: Use available evidence to determine the criteria used to locate a chemical
industry using the Solvay process as an example.
The main factors in selecting the location for an industrial plant are:
Availability of raw materials (salt for brine, and limestone).
Availability of sufficient energy at competitive prices.
Location of markets for the product (Na2CO3).
Availability of workforce at a reasonable cost.
Suitability of nearby sites for disposal of wastes (eg. Near ocean for discharge
of CaCl2 and hot water).
Environmental controls on discharges to air and water (in the Solvay process,
this means levels of ammonia allowed to be discharged into the air, and
amounts of hot water and CaCl2 allowed to be discharged into water,
depending on location near ocean, near city, etc.) NB. Less ammonia is
allowed can be discharged in areas near cities as it contributes to the already
high air pollution. More amounts of hot water and CaCl2 are allowed to be
discharged into oceans as there is a sufficient dilution factor to make the
discharge insignificant.

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