Alka Seltzer Tablets Lab Report

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Joy Morounfolu
Lab Partner: Ruth Bochung
Chem-C 103 Section 1455
10 October 2017
What Is the Percent by Mass of NaHCO3 in Alka-Seltzer® Tablets?
Ever wonder about the chemical makeup of tablets that people take for pain relief? Before a tablet can be successfully made, the limiting and excess reactants must be considered. The limiting reactant will affect the amount of the product that can be made. Another reason why the starting reactants must be determined carefully is to make reduce the amount of the reactant in excess so that reactants are not wasted. This experiment uses an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Alka-Seltzer dissolves in water and is an antacid and a pain reliever1. The Alka-Seltzer tablet has many uses such as relief of headaches, ingestion, heart burns, or even upset stomachs2. The active ingredients in an Alka-Seltzer tablet is aspirin, also known as acetyl-salicylic acid (C8H12O4), citric acid (C6H8O7), and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)2. The aspirin in the Alka-Seltzer tablet helps with pain relief. Because of the acid-base chemistry (Brønsted-Lowry), citric acid and sodium bicarbonate produce O2, which makes the tablet fizz when it is dropped in liquid. The Brønsted-Lowry theory shows how the Brønsted-Lowry acid donates a hydrogen ion while the Brønsted-Lowry base accepts the hydrogen ions3. The remaining NaHCO3 that is in excess post reaction with the citric acid is what is used to neutralize stomach acid which helps relief heart burn2. The problem in
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