What Sulfate Concentration Initiates Precipitation in a Mixed Nitrate Solution?

• jpd5184
In summary, precipitation refers to any form of water that falls from the atmosphere and reaches the Earth's surface, such as rain, snow, sleet, and hail. It is caused by the water cycle and can be measured using a rain gauge. Precipitation is vital for the environment as it provides necessary water for plants and animals, but excessive or insufficient precipitation can lead to environmental issues. Climate change can also affect precipitation patterns, resulting in more extreme events and changes in distribution and intensity.
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Homework Statement

consider a solution that initially contains 0.15M Sr(NO3)2 and 0.25M Ba(NO3)2. The sulfate ion concentration is gradually increased by the slow addition of solid Na2SO4.
a. What is the sulfate ion concentration when barium sulfate just begins to precipitate
b. what is the sulfate concentration when strontium sulfate just begins to precipitate

Homework Equations

a. Ba(NO3)2 ---- Ba^2+ + 2NO3-
Ksp=[NO3-][Ba^2+]
Qsp=[NO3-][Ba^2+] (initial concentrations)
b. Sr(NO3)2 ---- Sr^2+ + NO3-
ksp=[NO3-][Sr^2+]
Qsp=[NO3-][Sr^2+] (initial concentrations)

The Attempt at a Solution

knowing the ksp for each i can solve the equations for the unknown

Last edited:
Something wrong either with the wording or with your understanding of the problem. Nitrates don't precipitate, sulfates do.

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i changed the problem. this is what it should be but doesn't make sense since their is no sulfate in the problem

Ignore the nitrate ions. They are spectators in this process, only there to provide a countercharge to the Sr and Ba. Given the known [Sr] and [Ba], how much sulfate (read that as [SO4-2]) do you need to add to reach Ksp for SrSO4 and BaSO4?

concentration at which precipitation begins for each compound. This is known as the solubility product, and it represents the maximum concentration of ions that can exist in a solution before precipitation occurs.

a. For barium sulfate, the Ksp is 1.1x10^-10. Using the equation Ksp=[NO3-][Ba^2+], we can solve for the concentration of sulfate ions when barium sulfate begins to precipitate.
1.1x10^-10 = (x)(0.25)
x = 4.4x10^-10 M

Therefore, when the sulfate ion concentration reaches 4.4x10^-10 M, barium sulfate will begin to precipitate.

b. For strontium sulfate, the Ksp is 3.9x10^-7. Using the equation Ksp=[NO3-][Sr^2+], we can solve for the concentration of sulfate ions when strontium sulfate begins to precipitate.
3.9x10^-7 = (x)(0.15)
x = 2.6x10^-6 M

Therefore, when the sulfate ion concentration reaches 2.6x10^-6 M, strontium sulfate will begin to precipitate.

In conclusion, by knowing the solubility product for each compound and using the appropriate equations, we can determine the concentration of sulfate ions at which precipitation will occur for both barium sulfate and strontium sulfate in the given solution. This information can be useful in controlling and predicting precipitation in various chemical reactions and processes.

1. What is precipitation?

Precipitation refers to any form of water that falls from the atmosphere and reaches the Earth's surface. This includes rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

2. What causes precipitation?

Precipitation is caused by the water cycle, which involves the evaporation of water from the Earth's surface, condensation into clouds, and then precipitation when the clouds become too heavy and cannot hold onto the water anymore. Natural phenomena such as temperature changes, wind patterns, and air pressure also play a role in precipitation.

3. How is precipitation measured?

Precipitation is typically measured using a rain gauge, which collects and measures the amount of liquid precipitation (rain, drizzle, or snow that has melted) over a specific time period. The unit of measurement used is usually millimeters (mm) or inches (in).

4. What is the impact of precipitation on the environment?

Precipitation is vital for the survival of plants and animals, as it provides the necessary water for growth and hydration. It also replenishes freshwater sources such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater. However, excessive or insufficient precipitation can lead to environmental issues such as floods, droughts, and desertification.

5. How is precipitation affected by climate change?

Climate change can have a significant impact on precipitation patterns. As the Earth's temperature rises, it can cause changes in wind patterns and air pressure, resulting in more extreme precipitation events such as heavy rainstorms or severe droughts. Climate change can also alter the water cycle, leading to changes in precipitation distribution and intensity.

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