Inorganic Chemistry

JCE 92.06—June 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education June 2015 Cover

Extending and Deepening Student Understanding

The June 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at This issue includes articles on curriculum; assessment; inorganic chemistry; investigating galvanic cells & exploring LEDs; atomic structure; nanochemistry laboratories; physical chemistry in the lab; synthesis.

Mass of a Reaction Product

Sodium carbonate reacts with hydrochloric acid producing bubbles

Students combine sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid generating carbon dioxide gas which is allowed to escape. They measure the actual yield of carbon dioxide produced (missing mass), calculate the theoretical yield using stoichiometry, and then the percent yield. Students understand that 100% yield is the most appropriate answer (based on the Law of Conservation of Mass), so after considering the meaning of significant figures and the uncertainty of their measurements they are asked to decide if they did (or did not) get an answer that might indicate the validity of the Law.

Time required: 

One 50-minute period to perform the lab. One additional period to perform the calculations (optional). Often more able students will have time to begin some calculations at the end of the lab experiment.