   Chapter 17, Problem 111IL

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

You have a solution that contains AgNO3, Pb(NO3)2, and Cu(NO3)2. Devise a separation method that results in having Ag+ in one test tube, Pb2+ in another, and Cu2+ in a third test tube. Use solubility guidelines and Ksp and Kf values.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation:

Using solubility guideline a method to separate Ag+, Pb2+ and Cu2+ ions from a solution containing Ag(NO3), Pb(NO3)2 and Cu(NO3)2 has to be suggested.

Concept introduction:

Solubility product constant Ksp is an equilibrium constant and is defined as the product of the equilibrium concentration of the ions of the salt raised to the power of their coefficients in the balanced chemical equation.

The expression for Ksp of a salt is given as,

AxBy(s)xAy+(aq)+yBx(aq)Ksp=[Ay+]x[Bx]y

When in the solution more than one insoluble salt having one common ion is present than the one which requires less amount of the common ion to exceed its solubility product value and precipitate will precipitate out first from the solution. This is known as preferential precipitation or selective precipitation.

Explanation

Ag(NO3), Pb(NO3)2 and Cu(NO3)2 are strong electrolyte and in solution present in the form of ions. In solution Ag+,Pb2+ and Cu2+ ions will be present along with NO3 ions.

Step1: To the solution add HCl,  chlorides of salt will form. Chlorides of Ag+ and Pb2+ are water-insoluble while that of Cu2+ is soluble in water. Therefore AgCl and PbCl2 precipitates out and CuCl2 remains in the solution. Filter off the solution and separate precipitate.

Step2: AgCl and PbCl2 are then further separated on the basis of their Ksp values

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