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Answer the following questions:
  • What did you observe when you dissolved each of the salts in water?
  • What did you observe when you dissolved pairs of salts in the water?
  • What did you observe when you dissolved sodium carbonate in hydrochloric acid?
  • Why do you think we used bromothymol blue when mixing the hydrochloric acid and the sodium hydroxide? Think about the kind of reaction that occurred.
  • What did you observe when you placed the zinc metal into the copper sulphate?
  • Classify each reaction as either precipitation, gas forming, acid-base or redox.
  • What makes each reaction happen (i.e. what is the driving force)? Is it the formation of a precipitate or something else?
  • What criteria would you use to determine what kind of reaction occurs?
  • Try to write balanced chemical equations for each reaction


We can see how we can classify reactions by performing experiments.

In the experiment above, you should have seen how each reaction type differs from the others. For example, a gas forming reaction leads to bubbles in the solution, a precipitation reaction leads to a precipitate forming, an acid-base reaction can be seen by adding a suitable indicator and a redox reaction can be seen by one metal disappearing and a deposit forming in the solution.


  • The polar nature of water means that ionic compounds dissociate easily in aqueous solution into their component ions.
  • Ions in solution play a number of roles. In the human body for example, ions help to regulate the internal environment (e.g. controlling muscle function, regulating blood pH). Ions in solution also determine water hardness and pH.
  • Water hardness is a measure of the mineral content of water. Hard water has a high mineral concentration and generally also a high concentration of metal ions e.g. calcium and magnesium. The opposite is true for soft water.
  • Conductivity is a measure of a solution's ability to conduct an electric current.
  • An electrolyte is a substance that contains free ions and is therefore able to conduct an electric current. Electrolytes can be divided into strong and weak electrolytes, based on the extent to which the substance ionises in solution.
  • A non-electrolyte cannot conduct an electric current because it dooes not contain free ions.
  • The type of substance , the concentration of ions and the temperature of the solution affect its conductivity.
  • There are three main types of reactions that occur in aqueous solutions. These are precipitation reactions, acid-base reactions and redox reactions.
  • Precipitation and acid-base reactions are sometimes known as ion exchange reactions. Ion exchange reactions also include gas forming reactions.
  • A precipitate is formed when ions in solution react with each other to form an insoluble product. Solubility 'rules' help to identify the precipitate that has been formed.
  • A number of tests can be used to identify whether certain anions are present in a solution.
  • An acid-base reaction is one in which an acid reacts with a base to form a salt and water.
  • A redox reaction is one in which electrons are transferred from one substance to another.

End of chapter exercises

  1. Give one word for each of the following descriptions:
    1. the change in phase of water from a gas to a liquid
    2. a charged atom
    3. a term used to describe the mineral content of water
    4. a gas that forms sulphuric acid when it reacts with water
  2. Match the information in column A with the information in column B by writing only the letter (A to I) next to the question number (1 to 7)
    Column A Column B
    1. A polar molecule A. H 2 SO 4
    2. molecular solution B. CaCO 3
    3. Mineral that increases water hardness C. NaOH
    4. Substance that increases the hydrogen ion concentration D. salt water
    5. A strong electrolyte E. calcium
    6. A white precipitate F. carbon dioxide
    7. A non-conductor of electricity G. potassium nitrate
    H. sugar water
    I. O 2
  3. For each of the following questions, choose the one correct answer from the list provided.
    1. Which one of the following substances does not conduct electricity in the solid phase but is an electrical conductor when molten?
      1. Cu
      2. PbBr 2
      3. H 2 O
      4. I 2
      (IEB Paper 2, 2003)
    2. The following substances are dissolved in water. Which one of the solutions is basic?
      1. sodium nitrate
      2. calcium sulphate
      3. ammonium chloride
      4. potassium carbonate
      (IEB Paper 2, 2005)
  4. Explain the difference between a weak electrolyte and a strong electrolyte. Give a generalised equation for each.
  5. What factors affect the conductivity of water? How do each of these affect the conductivity?
  6. For each of the following substances state whether they are molecular or ionic. If they are ionic, give a balanced reaction for the dissociation in water.
    1. Methane ( CH 4 )
    2. potassium bromide
    3. carbon dioxide
    4. hexane ( C 6 H 14 )
    5. lithium fluoride ( LiF )
    6. magnesium chloride
    Click here for the solution
  7. Three test tubes (X, Y and Z) each contain a solution of an unknown potassium salt. The following observations were made during a practical investigation to identify the solutions in the test tubes: A: A white precipitate formed when silver nitrate ( AgNO 3 ) was added to test tube Z. B: A white precipitate formed in test tubes X and Y when barium chloride ( BaCl 2 ) was added. C: The precipitate in test tube X dissolved in hydrochloric acid ( HCl ) and a gas was released. D: The precipitate in test tube Y was insoluble in hydrochloric acid.
    1. Use the above information to identify the solutions in each of the test tubes X, Y and Z.
    2. Write a chemical equation for the reaction that took place in test tube X before hydrochloric acid was added.
    (DoE Exemplar Paper 2 2007)

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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What makes metals better to use as wires than non-metals? (please link to bonding type)??? HELP
Yash Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry grade 10 [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Jun 13, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11303/1.4
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