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liambob1

My kitchen chemistry experiment

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So I decided to make sodium acetate at home, just for giggles. So here is the equation :

CH3COOH + NaHCO3 → CH3COONa + H2O + CO2

My yield was 27g of sodium acetate which when cooled turned into pretty crystals as expected. But here lies my problem, when I tried to heat it up to turn it back into liquid sodium acetate all the crystals do is pop and hiss and crackle. The melting point of sodium acetate trihydrate is 58o so it should work. My thinking on what happened is I left the crystals out overnight and when I put them on my balance the mass was 24.7. That is a loss of 2.3 grams overnight. So I thought maybe what happened is due to the heat my sodium acetate trihydrate may have turned into sodium acetate anhydrous with the loss of water accounting for the loss of mass. The melting point for sodium acetate anhydrous is 324o which would also explain why my crystals wont melt. What are your thoughts on this? Are my conclusions correct and if so how can I save my poor sodium acetate? Any comments are appreciated

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It does sound like the heating is driving off your waters of crystallization. I've never tried to melt sodium acetate before so I don't really know. Try dissolving it in water to make a saturated solution. Then recrystallize to regain your trihydrate. Wikipedia gives 46.4 g/ 100 mL at 20 oC, to give you an idea of what a saturated solution would be.

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I just dissolved it in water and then recrystallized and now im only left with 7.8g of sodium acetate! just from recrystallization. That is a pretty poor experiment right there

Edited by liambob1

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It does sound like the heating is driving off your waters of crystallization. I've never tried to melt sodium acetate before so I don't really know. Try dissolving it in water to make a saturated solution. Then recrystallize to regain your trihydrate. Wikipedia gives 46.4 g/ 100 mL at 20 oC, to give you an idea of what a saturated solution would be.

 

Managed to get another 9 grams from the waste water but I appear to have two different types of crystals. Why is this?

Edited by liambob1

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