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# Using Freezing-Point Depression to Find Molecular Weight

## Introduction

When a solute is dissolved in a solvent, the freezing temperature is lowered in proportion to the number of moles of solute added. This property, known as freezing-point depression, is a colligative property; that is, it depends on the ratio of solute and solvent particles, not on the nature of the substance itself. The equation that shows this relationship is

$\Delta t = {K_f} \times m$

where Δt is the freezing point depression, Kf is the freezing point depression constant for a particular solvent (3.9°C•kg/mol for lauric acid in this experiment), and m is the molality of the solution (in mol solute/kg solvent).

## Objectives

In this experiment, you will

• Determine the freezing temperature of the pure solvent, lauric acid.
• Determine the freezing temperature of a mixture of lauric acid and benzoic acid.
• Calculate the freezing point depression of the mixture.
• Calculate the molecular weight of benzoic acid.

## Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

### Option 2

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

## Advanced Chemistry with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

 1 The Determination of a Chemical Formula 2 The Determination of the Percent Water in a Compound 3 The Molar Mass of a Volatile Liquid 4 Using Freezing-Point Depression to Find Molecular Weight 5 The Molar Volume of a Gas 6 Standardizing a Solution of Sodium Hydroxide 7 Acid-Base Titration 8 An Oxidation-Reduction Titration: The Reaction of Fe2+ and Ce4+ 9 Determining the Mole Ratios in a Chemical Reaction 10 The Determination of an Equilibrium Constant 11 Investigating Indicators 12 The Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide 13 Determining the Enthalpy of a Chemical Reaction 14A Separation and Qualitative Analysis of Cations 14B Separation and Qualitative Analysis of Anions 15A The Synthesis of Alum 15B The Analysis of Alum 16 Conductimetric Titration and Gravimetric Determination of a Precipitate 17 Determining the Concentration of a Solution: Beer's Law 18 Liquid Chromatography 19 Buffers 20 Electrochemistry: Voltaic Cells 21 Electroplating 22 The Synthesis and Analysis of Aspirin 23 Determining the Ksp of Calcium Hydroxide 24 Determining Ka by the Half-Titration of a Weak Acid 25 The Rate and Order of a Chemical Reaction 26 The Enthalpy of Neutralization of Phosphoric Acid 27 α, β, and γ 28 Radiation Shielding 29 The Base Hydrolysis of Ethyl Acetate 30 Exploring the Properties of Gases 31 Determining Avogadro's Number 32 Potentiometric Titration of Hydrogen Peroxide 33 Determining the Half-Life of an Isotope 34 Vapor Pressure and Heat of Vaporization 35 Rate Determination and Activation Energy

### Experiment 4 from Advanced Chemistry with Vernier Lab Book

#### Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.