Experiment 2: Synthesis of Potassium Tris(oxalato)Ferrate(III) Trihydrate 2 – 4 Allow the solution to cool to room temperature, and then add 10 mL of ethanol to the plastic cup. Cover the plastic cup with its lid, and place it in your laboratory desk until the next laboratory period. The reason that the plastic cup should be placed in your desk is that the product, potassium tris(oxalato)ferrate(III) trihydrate [K 3 Fe(C 2 O 4 ) 3 ·3H 2 O], decomposes in the presence of light. The products of the decomposition are carbon dioxide (from the oxidation of C 2 O 4 2– ) and a complex of Fe 2+ (from the reduction of Fe 3+ ). The beaker is covered to prevent complete evaporation of the water. Complete evaporation of the water would make it impossible to separate the pure K 3 Fe(C 2 O 4 ) 3 ·3H 2 O crystals from the other salts, which will otherwise remain dissolved in solution. Also, slower solvent evaporation encourages the development of larger, purer crystals. Week 2
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