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Galvanized Nails, Quality Control, and an Introduction to Green Chemistry

I found this lab to have a wide range of error some

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I found this lab to have a wide range of error, some that can be removed, others that can only be reduced. The indeterminate error in this experiment is the fact that we cannot fully dissolve the zinc without knowing how much zinc there is on each nail before hand. We can estimate how long it needs to react but without knowing the total mass, and without the zinc being completely uniform we will either not completely dissolve the zinc or some iron could begin to dissolve. This affects the entire lab so that the exact g/mm 2 will not be determined. That is why the more nails analyzed, we can calculate closer to the actual g/mm 2 . In order to speed up the dissolving process I placed multiple nails in acid at once, with a few seconds between them to give myself enough time to remove each one from the acid and rinse it off with deionized water. At one point I realized I only left a nail in for 2 minutes rather than three, and had to place it back in the acid for one more minute. The lack of uniformity and careful calculations of time resulted in flawed data. Doing each nail individually and starting the timer as soon as the nail is immersed in the acid then removing it as soon as the three minutes is up could reduce this error. Green chemistry is the prevention rather than the removing of pollution incorporated in daily process of designing substances that are environmentally sound. The principle of green chemistry was incorporated by neutralizing the hazardous product using sodium hydroxide to bring the pH from very acidic to just slightly acidic so the solution can be put back into the environment without causing damage. The process of determining the quantity of zinc on galvanized nails could be greener is if instead of disposing of the waste used to dissolve the zinc a corporation sells it to a corporation that could use the zinc hydroxide rather than putting it back into the environment. Or find a weaker acid to dissolve the zinc, although this would take longer, it would be easier to control and the waste wouldn’t be as harmful to the environment. Extra Credit Zinc hydroxide can also be used in the rubber industry, the Eva Compounding industry and the phosphating industry.
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