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Catalytic cracking of paraffin

Use the following video and links to help you achieve the following:

  • Define catalyst and describe how a they work. Describe what unsaturated hydrocarbons are.
  • Describe how to carryout the catalytic cracking of liquid paraffin in a school laboratory safely, and test for the products. Explain why catalytic cracking is carried out.
  • Plan a valid and reliable investigation to find out how the temperature of a catalyst affects how quickly unsaturated hydrocarbons are produced.



Some things to consider while watching the video:
  1. What equipment were used?
  2. How was the equipment set up? Draw diagram.
  3. What was used as a catalyst?
  4. How were the catalyst and liquid paraffin heated?
  5. Why were the catalyst and liquid paraffin heated in this way?
  6. Why were the first two test tubes of collected gas discarded?
  7. How was the bromine water test done, and what was the colour change observed?
  8. What is the science behind the bromine water test for unsaturated hydrocarbons?
  9. How was the acidified potassium permanganate test done, and what was the colour change observed?

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