The Formula And Percent Water Of Hydrated Magnesium Sulfate

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Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to determine both the formula and percent water of hydrated magnesium sulfate.

Background: According to George B. Kauffman of Britannica, a hydrate is “any compound containing water in the form of H2O molecules, usually, but not always, with a definite content of water by weight.” Within this, there are two aspects of the compound; the “water of hydration” and the anhydrous salt. When a hydrate is heated, the “water of hydration” leaves the compound as vapor due to the unsteady bonds between the water and salt molecules. The anhydrous salt ends up becoming the only piece that is leftover. From the two, the percent water in a hydrate and the mass of the salt can be determined from the loss of the “water of hydration.” As a result, the formula of the compound can be found because the masses of the salt and the water can be used to determine the mole ratio, which are both small, whole numbers.

Materials:
Gas burner
Ring stand and ring
Triangle made from clay
Crucible + lid
Crucible tongs
Wire pad
Balance scale
Spatula
Hydrated magnesium sulfate

Procedure:
Assemble the ring and ring stand atop a flat surface. Place the clay triangle in the center of the ring. Lastly, bring the crucible with its lid into the clay triangle, so that it is hanging.
Turn on the gas burner and bring it a low heat, only to the point that there is a blue flame. Carefully push the gas burner under the crucible and heat for around two minutes in order to properly

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