The Reaction of Red Food Color with Bleach

10/20/2014 ME
Experiment 13H
Determine the rate law for the chemical reaction between FD&C Red Dye #3 and
sodium hypochlorite.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: By the end of this experiment, the students should be able to demonstrate
the following proficiencies.
Properly make aqueous solutions, given target volumes and molarities.
Relate absorbance measurements to concentrations, using the Beer-Lambert Law.
Apply the method of comparing initial reaction rates to determine the order of reaction with
respect to reactants.
Apply the graphical (integrated rate law) method to determine the order of reaction with respect
to one reactant.
Control experimental conditions, as needed, to assure proper comparison of rate information
PRE-LAB: Review Appendix I (Spectrophotometry) for a discussion of spectroscopy and application of
Beer’s Law:
Complete the pre-lab questions on page E13H-8 prior to coming to lab.
Most people are familiar with the action of bleach on fabrics. If one has done much laundering of
clothes, one will recall the warning on the side of a Clorox® bottle against its use on brightly colored
clothes. This “bleaching” is a chemical reaction whose kinetics can be easily studied.
Red Dye #3
(red dye)
Hypochlorite Ion
(bleach or OCl-)
Adapted from Henary, M.M., Russell, A.A.J. Chem. Educ., 2007, 84, 480-482.
Colorless Product
The rate of the bleaching reaction is dependent on the concentration of red dye and on the concentration of
bleach. This is expressed in the rate law for the reaction:
rate = k [red dye]a [OCl–]b
Experimental data will allow the values of the orders with respect to each reactant, a and b, to be
Determination of a: Pseudo Rate Law Method (graphical).
One method for determining reaction orders outlined in general chemistry textbooks involves determining
whether a reaction follows certain graphical profiles. However, this method can only be applied if the rate
law for the reaction involves only one reactant. This may appear rather limiting, since most chemical
reactions involve at least two reactants. As shown below, however, there is a way, in principle, to cause a
reaction involving multiple reactants to appear to include the change in only one reactant. This method is
known as the Pseudo Rate Law Method. By running the bleaching reaction with a large excess of bleach,
OCl– , the Δ[OCl–] will be approximately equal to zero, therefore, k′ = k[OCl–] and the rate law simplifies
to: rate = k′[red dye]a and the rate of reaction leads directly to the order with respect to red dye, a.
Determination of b: Method of Initial Rates.
The Method of Initial Rates for determining orders of reaction is illustrated in Example 13.3 (pp. 567-569)
of the Chang textbook. This method simply involves a comparison of two different trials, the only
difference between the trials being the concentration of one of the reactant species. The value of b in this
experiment will be found by this method through holding the concentration of red dye constant and
changing the concentration of OCl–.
Since all of the reactions studied in this experiment involve a species (red dye) that will absorb
visible light a Spectrophotometer (Spec 20) will be used to collect absorbance (A) data which can then be
related to concentration (c) data using Beer’s Law:
A = lc
where l = pathlength of the cuvette (1.00 cm in this experiment) and  = molar absorptivity for red dye.
MATERIALS: 100 mL volumetric flask (3), 50 mL beaker (2), 5 mL pipet (1), 2 mL pipet (3), 1 mL
pipet (2), Spec-20 (1), cuvette (2), rubber stopper for cuvette (1), plastic droppers (2).
SAFETY: ALWAYS wear safety goggles and an apron, and handle the intensely colored dye carefully to
avoid stains on clothing. Sodium hypochlorite, household bleach, is a bronchial irritant. Keep solutions in
the hood, and avoid breathing the vapors. Immediately wipe-up any spills of the red dye or bleach.
Part A. Prepare two red dye solutions from an initial stock solution, using serial-dilution method
(See PRELAB) & determine absorbance
On data sheet, record the concentration of the stock solution to four decimal places
Obtain about 10 mL of red dye stock solution, in 50 mL beaker.
Rinse inside walls of pipet with a small amount of the red dye stock solution, then fill pipet and
transfer 5.00 mL of the red dye into a volumetric flask. Carefully fill the flask up to the 100.0 mL
mark with distilled water. Cap the flask and invert the solution several times to mix well.
Rinse the pipet again, this time with some of the dilute solution you just made. Pipet 5.00 mL of
the dilute red dye solution (prepared in step 3), into another clean volumetric flask. Carefully fill
the flask up to the 100.0 mL mark with distilled water. Cap the flask and invert the solution
several times to mix well. Rinse the pipet with some of the more dilute solution you just made.
It is THIS SOLUTION that will be used in all reaction mixtures described in Part B.
Set the wavelength of the Spec-20 to 530 nm. Set the instrument to %T mode. Adjust the zero
with no sample in the instrument. Next, fill a cuvette ~2/3 full with deionized water, wipe with a
lab tissue, insert into the instrument and set 100% transmittance.
Switch the Spec-20 to Absorbance mode.
Transfer a sample of your dilute solution from Part A (4.) into a clean cuvette, wipe with a lab
tissue and insert into the sample compartment. Record the absorbance on the data sheet.
Note: From this you will be able to calculate the molar absorptivity, , of the red dye solution.
Part B. Absorbance measurements of reaction mixtures
Obtain about 15 mL of hypocholorite solution, in 50 mL beaker. Record the weight percent on
data sheet.
Using pre-rinsed volumetric pipets, fill the cuvette with appropriate amounts of dilute dye solution
and water for Reaction #1 as specified in the table below. Note: Because this reaction will begin
as soon as you mix the red dye and bleach solutions, you must start timing as soon as the bleach is
Using a pipet, transfer the appropriate amount of bleach solution into a clean, dry test tube. Pour
the bleach solution quickly and carefully from the test tube into the cuvette containing the dye
solution to initiate the reaction. Stopper the cuvette, invert once to mix, then quickly wipe the
cuvette with a lab tissue and insert into the Spec-20. Record a data point immediately, and then
remove the cuvette. Take a second absorbance measurement 30 seconds after the bleach was
originally added, and then record the absorbance every 30 seconds thereafter for 15 minutes, or
until the absorbance drops to 0.05. To maintain constant temperature, REMOVE the cuvette from
the sample compartment between readings. Record absorbance vs. time on data sheet.
For reaction #2, the same procedure can be used. After the initial absorbance measurement, take
additional readings every 60 seconds for 20 minutes, or until the absorbance drops to 0.05.
Reaction #
dye solution (mL)
deionized water (mL)
bleach solution (mL)
Clean up:
Be sure to remove the sample from the Spec-20! Discard all solutions in the sink. Wash and rinse
glassware thoroughly to remove red dye and bleach residue. Shut down Spec-20 as instructed
Name __________________________________
Section ____________
Name __________________________________
Date ______________
Experiment 13H
Part A. Concentration and Absorbance of red dye solutions & mass percent of bleach
Note: Use proper significant figures and units.
1. Initial concentration of red dye stock solution: ____________________ mol/L
2. Record the Absorbance of the solution prepared in Part A (4.): __________(no units)
3. Mass percent of sodium hypochlorite in the bleach: ______________
Part B. Absorbance data for each reaction mixture
Time (sec)
Reaction #1
Time (sec)
Reaction #2
Name __________________________________
Section ____________
Name __________________________________
Date ______________
Experiment 13H
Part A. Determining concentrations & molar absorptivity
Note: Use proper significant figures and units.
Using M(conc)V(conc) = M(dilute)V(dilute) and the initial concentration of the stock solution recorded in
Part A, calculate the concentration of the red dye solutions you made in Part A (3.) and Part A (4.).
[red dye] Part A (3.) _______________
[red dye] Part A (4.) _______________
Use Beer’s Law and the absorbance recorded in Part A to calculate the molar absorptivity of the
red dye solution.
Molar absorptivity ________________
Mass percent of sodium hypochlorite in the bleach: ______________
Assuming that the density of bleach solution is 1 g/mL, calculate the molarity of the sodium
hypochlorite in the stock bleach solution provided. (A.5)
Using M(conc)V(conc) = M(dilute)V(dilute), calculate the molarity of the sodium hypocholorite in reaction
mixtures #1 and #2:
[bleach] Reaction #1 _______________
[bleach] Reaction #2 _______________
Part B: Data analysis
For a refresher on using Excel to perform calculations and graph data, check out the tutorials on the
Chemistry Department website:
Enter your time and absorbance data for Reaction #1 into an Excel spreadsheet.
Create new columns for [red dye], ln[red dye], and 1/[red dye]. Do not use your calculator ENTER FUNCTIONS into the spreadsheet to perform each calculation!
Recall that:
 red dye
 
Prepare three plots using your data from Reaction #1: [red dye] vs. time, ln[red dye] vs. time,
and 1/[red dye] vs. time. The plot that visually appears the most “linear” tells you the order of the
reaction, with respect to [red dye]. Perform linear regressions on each plot. The plot with the
R2 value closest to 1.0 is the most linear.
Record which plot has an R2 value closest to 1.0: _________________________
Record the order with respect to [red dye], a: ________________________
Enter time and absorbance data for Reaction #2 in the same Excel worksheet. Refer to your record
of which plot was most linear (B.3) and construct this same plot for Reaction #2. Perform a linear
regression on the plot, making sure to include the equation of the trend-line and R2 value on each graph.
Note: Use the slope of each trend-line to solve for the order in bleach
Slope of trend-line Reaction #2: _________________
By comparing the slopes of the trend-lines for Reactions #1 and #2 and the initial bleach
concentrations calculated in (A.5), determine b, the order of the reaction with respect to bleach
(i.e. OCl-). Remember, the slopes of your graphs equal –k′ in each case, and k is constant for all
k ' EXP # 2 k [OCl  ]bEXP # 2
k ' EXP #1 k [OCl  ]bEXP #1
Write the experimental rate law based on the order of the red dye and the order of the OCl- that
you obtained in your analysis
Calculate the rate constant for this reaction (remember to include proper units)
Experiment 13H
For Reaction #1, determine the initial (time = 0 minutes) and final (time = 15 minutes)
concentrations of the hypochlorite ion. Does this justify the assumption that the rate law depends
only on the red dye concentration for this reaction? Explain.
What does the rate law determined from this experiment tell us about the overall
mechanism for this reaction? Specifically, based upon the observed rate law, what is the correct
stoichiometry for the reactants in the rate-determining step? Explain.
Name __________________________________
Section ____________
Date ______________
Experiment 13H
Calculate how many grams of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution were dissolved in 1.00 L of
distilled water to give a 0.81 M stock solution.
Calculate the molarity of a solution of red dye #3 (MW 879.9 g/mol) if a 0.5028 g sample is
diluted with distilled water to 100.00 mL in a volumetric flask.
An example of a “serial dilution” that you will perform in lab is: if you put a 5.00 mL aliquot of
the solution from Question 2, into another 100.00 mL volumetric flask, and dilute it with distilled
water to the 100.00 mL mark. That is the first dilution in a serial dilution. Then, if you put 5.00
mL of THIS new dilute solution into another 100.00 mL volumetric flask, and dilute with distilled
water to the 100.00 mL mark, this is the second dilution in the series of “serial dilutions”. The
intensity of the color (and concentration of solute) will decrease with each dilution, as illustrated
5.00 mL 5.00 mL
Use the molarity you calculated in Question 2, and the data in the description, to calculate the
molarities of the first dilution and second dilution.