Annex A-Group Research Proposal

Group Project Proposal (Science)
Names: Arthur, Ting Hao, Royce, Jeremy
Class: S2-07
Group Reference: G

1.    Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[    ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research

[    ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)

[ X ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)

[    ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

[    ] Observational and exploratory research

[    ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research

2.    Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:

Title: Investigation of the effect of acid on iron.

A.    Question being addressed

Our group would like to know under what level of pH/Molarity and temperature would create the optimal conditions for the corrosion of iron. 
Iron will be used as it is common in daily use, such as at home, transportation, and being part of an alloy (steel).

Corrosion/Rusting is equivalent to the iron losing weight, therefore, to calculate the rate of corrosion, (original weight - weight after rusting)/time exposed to acidification. (T. Bell, 2015)

Hydrochloric Acid
It is used in the manufacture of phosphoric acid, chlorine dioxide, ammonium chloride, fertilizers, dyes, and artificial silk and pigments for paints. It is used as a refining ore in the production of tin and tantalum, as a lab reagent, and as a metal treating agent. It is used to remove scale and dust from boilers and heat exchange equipment, to clean membranes in desalination plants, to increase oil well output, to prepare synthetic rubber products by treating isoprene, and to clean and prepare other metals for coatings. It is used in the neutralization of waste streams, the recovery of zinc from galvanized iron scrap, the production of chloride chemicals, the production of vinyl chloride from acetylene and alkyl chlorides from olefin, the manufacture of sodium glutamate and gelatine, the conversion of cornstarch to syrup, sugar refining, electroplating, soap refining, leather tanning, and the photographic, textile, brewing, and rubber industries. It is used to maintain pH balance in swimming pools, spas, etc. It is also used as a bactericide, a fungicide, and a veridic to disinfect bathrooms, kitchens and food preparation areas, and other areas in commercial and industrial buildings, in hospitals, in nursing homes, and in and around household dwellings. It is used in food processing as a starch modifier. (Australian Government)

Sulphuric Acid
Sulphuric acid is one of the most important industrial chemicals. More of it is made each year than is made of any other manufactured chemical; more than 40 million tons of it were produced in the United States in 1990. It has widely varied uses and plays some part in the production of nearly all manufactured goods. The major use of sulphuric acid is in the production of fertilisers, e.g., superphosphate of lime and ammonium sulphate. It is widely used in the manufacture of chemicals, e.g., in making hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulphate salts, synthetic detergents, dyes and pigments, explosives, and drugs. It is used in petroleum refining to wash impurities out of gasoline and other refinery products. Sulphuric acid is used in processing metals, e.g., in pickling (cleaning) iron and steel before plating them with tin or zinc. Rayon is made with sulphuric acid. It serves as the electrolyte in the lead-acid storage battery commonly used in motor vehicles (acid for this use, containing about 33% H2SO4 and with specific gravity about 1.25, is often called battery acid). (Pearson Education)

Citric Acid
Citric acid can be added to ice cream as an emulsifying agent to keep fats from separating, to caramel to prevent sucrose crystallisation, or in recipes in place of fresh lemon juice. Citric acid is used with sodium bicarbonate in a wide range of effervescent formulae, both for ingestion (e.g., powders and tablets) and for personal care (e.g., bath salts, bath bombs, and cleaning of grease). Citric acid is also often used in cleaning products and sodas or fizzy drinks.Citric acid is an excellent chelating agent, binding metals. It is used to remove limescale from boilers and evaporators.It can be used to soften water, which makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. By chelating the metals in hard water, it lets these cleaners produce foam and work better without need for water softening. Citric acid is the active ingredient in some bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a 6% concentration of citric acid will remove hard water stains from glass without scrubbing. In industry, it is used to dissolve rust from steel. Citric acid can be used in shampoo to wash out wax and colouring from the hair. (Wikipedia, 9 January 2015)

Independent variable:
The type of acid
Concentration of acid

Dependant variable:
The rust on the metal
The weight of the metal

Constant variable:
The duration of the metal in the acid
The exposed surface area of the metal to the acid
Amount of acid used

B.    Hypotheses

The more concentrated the acid, the more rust formed the metal.
The sulphuric acid has the highest rate of corrosion

C.    Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)

Equipment list:
15 Petri dishes
0.5 litre of Hydrochloric Acid per mol
0.5 litre of Sulphuric Acid per mol
0.5 litre of Citric Acid per mol
15 iron angles (L brackets) with dimensions of 5cm by 1.5cm by 0.2 cm
Weighing machine (Microbalance) 

• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection

1. Weigh 1 iron angle on a microbalance before the start of the experiment
2. Prepare 6 petri dishes
3. Add 60ml hydrochloric acid molarity 1 to the 3 petri dishes
4. Add 60ml hydrochloric acid molarity 2 to the other 3 petri dishes
5. Place the metal angle in the acid vertically and leave it for 25hrs
6. After 25hrs, remove the metal angles from the acid using gloves
7. Wipe away any residue but be careful not to wipe away the rust
8. Weigh the iron three iron angles with the microbalance and record the data in the logbook
9. Repeat steps 2 to 8 for the Sulphuric and Citric acid

HCI- Molarity: 1
H2SO4- Molarity: 1
H2CO3- Molarity: 1
HCI- Molarity: 2
H2SO4- Molarity: 2
H2CO3- Molarity: 2

• Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

1.  As the experiment involves metal rusting, avoid getting cut by the rust as tetanus will be caused, wear gloves to protect hands from the rust.
2. As acid is used, it is corrosive and it may cause the skin to burn. Wear gloved and goggles when handling the acid. (The University of Chicago, 2010)

Risks of using acids:
As the acids that we are using are strong even in weak concentration, it is very dangerous to handle these acids. So we would need to wear gloves when handling the acid as there is a possibility that it could give an irritation to our skin or even melt it. Hence, we need to be very cautious when handling with acids. We will use a pair of tongs to remove the iron from the acid solution after experiment, as said above, it is dangerous to work with acid, especially with our bare hands.

• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyse the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses

D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.

Acid Safety. (2015, January 13). Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Aluminium chloride. (2015, January 6). Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Brown, P. (2014, January 1). Calculating molarity, molar concentration of solutions how to determine solubility practice questions gcse chemistry Calculations 11. igcse KS4 science A level
GCE AS A2 O Level practice questions exercises. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

De Lloyd, D. (2000, January 1). Laboratory waste disposal and management. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Depot, T. (2007, January 1). All Chemicals. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Daigger. Laboratory Acids. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from (2012, February 26). How does temperature affects pH of juices? - Homework Help. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from (2015, January 1). What is the concentration (in M) of a carbonic acid (H2CO3) if 45.2 g of acid are dissolved in enough water to make... Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

PubChem. (2015, January 13). Carbonic acid | CH2O3. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Hage, W., Mayer, E., & Hallbrucker, A. (1993). Carbonic acid: Synthesis by protonation of bicarbonate and FTIR spectroscopic characterization via a new cryogenic technique. Previous
Article Next Article Table of Contents Carbonic Acid: Synthesis by Protonation of Bicarbonate and FTIR Spectroscopic Characterization via a New Cryogenic Technique, 115(18), 8427-8431. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Hyperphysics.(2014, January 1). Hydrochloric Acid. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

National Geographic. (2015, January 13). Ocean Acidification. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Pomeroy, R. (2013, August 24). The World's Strongest Acids: Like Fire and Ice |
RealClearScience. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Rowe, P., Swensen, J., & Bradburn, G. (2005, December 14). Measuring Rust Amounts. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Safety Precautions for Working with Hydrofluoric Acid. (2010, January 1). The University of Chicago. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

 Sigma-Aldrich. Concentrations of Common Reagents Chart. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Wikipedia. (2014, December 29). Corrosion. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Wikipedia. (2014, December 26). How does temperature affects pH of juices? - Homework Help. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Wikipedia. (2015, January 5). Ocean acidification. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

Wikipedia.(2015, January 12). Sulfuric acid. Retrieved January 13, 2015, from

3. Results

Our results for our experiment are as followed:
Percentage of rust in mpy (mili-inch per year)*

*All results are estimated to 2 decimal place

Molarity 1
Molarity 2
Hydrochloric Acid
Citric Acid
Sulphuric Acid

The pH values of the acids are:

Citric Acid
0.667 pH
Hydrochloric Acid
0.317 pH
Sulphuric Acid

4. Analysis of Results
Therefore, we can plot a graph based on the relationship on how the pH value affects the Percentage of Rust:

Based on the graph (As shown above), we can see that as the pH value decreases, the rate of corrosion increases.

Our data has a downward trend.

Hence, from our data above, we can tell that higher the molarity, lower the pH level, therefore, having a higher rate of corrosion.

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