Freezing Point Depression Constant of P-Xylene

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Chapter Two: Freezing Point Depression Measurements Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to measure freezing points and freezing point depression for several solutions. The freezing point depression constant (Kf) for p-xylene was calculated from freezing point measurements and used to estimate the molar masses of three unknown solutes in a p-xylene solution. The end goal of this lab experiment is to correctly identify these three unknown solutes. The molar mass of a solute is able to be determined through freezing point depression measurements because the increase in solutes disrupts crystal formation, requiring a lower temperature to form a lattice. This colligative property is important in many industries, but is clear to see when using ordinary salt to remove ice from steps or a driveway. The water takes salt into solution, which in turn lowers the freezing point of the water, ensuring that even sub-freezing ambient temperatures do not lead to ice buildup anywhere the salt or ice melt was applied. Experimental Procedure: Before any measurements were taken, equipment was set up and calibrated. Using Microlab’s integrated calibration file the thermistor was calibrated in order to obtain accurate temperature measurements. A graph for the data was also set up with time on the x axis in .5 second intervals and temperature on the y axis. The first task required the freezing point of pure p-xylene be determined. This was done by pipetting approximately 2ml of p-xylene into a polypropylene test tube. The dry thermistor probe was inserted into the p-xylene test tube which was then inserted into an ice water bath. The temperature probe was used to stir the p-xylene and ensured an accurate reading. The temperature graph was saved for future reference. This procedure was repeated three times in total to account for any errors in measurement. Using the

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