Lab Handout 19 How Much is a Penny Worth? - Chem 120

Lab Handout 19 How Much is a Penny Worth? - Chem 120 - Lab...

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Lab Handout 19: How Much is a Penny Worth? Chem 120, Lab Monday 6-9PM | Phelps 1. Rachel Jani - Introduction and Conclusion 2. Young Kim - Discussion 3. Katie Pietraszak - Data/Results and Experimental Introduction Knowing the value of the penny in terms of its metal content compared to the penny’s monetary value is important for the economy of the United States. It would not be practical for the United States to be using a penny that is worth more than 1 cent because it would end up costing the United States overall. In order to resolve this problem, the United States Government issues regulation of the production of pennies and its metal content, to only be made of 2.5 % copper with zinc filler in order to keep the worth of the penny less than one cent. In this lab report, a post-1982 penny was taken and the copper content was determined through a process of different chemical reactions using different solutions: Nitric acid, Hydrochloric acid, Aqueous Ammonia, Sodium borohydride, and ethanol. The nitric acid was used to dissolve the zinc in the penny into solution. The hydrochloric acid was then added to remove the nitrate that had been formed, and then boiled. This process was repeated three times to ensure that all nitrates were removed. Aqueous Ammonia was hen added to remove the acidity of the acidic solution to enable the sodium borohydride to be able to separate the copper from the rest of the solution. The finalized product was then filtered with filter paper and a Buchner Funnel and went through vacuum filtration. What was found was that 4.13 % copper was found in the penny when the required amount is no more than 2.5%. Experimental A post-1982 penny was first obtained and the mass of the penny was measured and recorded. The penny was then placed in a beaker with 15 mL of 10 M HNO 3 , covered with a watch glass, and placed under the fume hood. After the reaction began to slow, 10 mL of 10 M HCl was added and the reaction continued.
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At the completion of the dissolution reaction, the solution was boiled, uncovered, to nearly dry, or when there was less than 10 mL of remaining liquid. This was done in
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