Chemistry Required Practical: Temperature Change

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GCSE/IGCSE Chemistry
Chemistry Required Practicals

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GCSE Chemistry Required Practical - Temperature Changes

Investigate the variables that affect temperature change in chemical reactions eg acid plus alkali.

In this practical you will:

  • react sodium hydroxide solution with hydrochloric acid
  • measure the temperature changes during the reaction
  • plot a graph of your results and record the temperature change

Temperature Changes - GCSE Science Required Practical


  1. Measure 30 cm3 dilute hydrochloric acid and put it into the polystyrene cup.
  2. Stand the cup inside the beaker. This will make it more stable.
  3. Use the thermometer to measure the temperature of the acid. Record your result in a table.
  4. Measure 5 cm3 sodium hydroxide solution.
  5. Pour the sodium hydroxide into the polystyrene cup. Fit the lid and gently stir the solution with the thermometer through the hole.
  6. Look carefully at the temperature rise on the thermometer.
  7. When the reading on the thermometer stops changing, record the highest temperature reached in the table.
  8. Repeat steps 4–7 to add further 5 cm3 amounts of sodium hydroxide to the cup each time, recording your temperature reading in the results table.
  9. Repeat until a maximum of 40cm3 of sodium hydroxide has been added.
  10. Wash out all the equipment and repeat the experiment for your second trial.

GCSE Science Chemistry Required Practical: Temperature Changes

Exploring the temperature changes in an exothermic reaction.

Analysis and conclusion
a. Calculate the mean maximum temperature reached for each volume of sodium hydroxide.
Record these means in your table.
b. Plot a graph from your results and draw two straight lines of best fit.
c. From the graph read off the maximum temperature change.
d. This is an example of an exothermic reaction, when heat is given out. Can you explain why the results you recorded show that the temperature started to fall after a certain volume of sodium hydroxide had been added?

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