Timeline VCE

Chemistry Unit 3
How can design and innovation help to optimise chemical processes?
2024-2027

The global demand for energy and materials is increasing with world population growth. In this unit students investigate the chemical production of energy and materials. They explore how innovation, design and sustainability principles and concepts can be applied to produce energy and materials while minimising possible harmful effects of production on human health and the environment.
Students analyse and compare different fuels as energy sources for society, with reference to the energy transformations and chemical reactions involved, energy efficiencies, environmental impacts and potential applications. They explore food in the context of supplying energy in living systems. The purpose, design and operating principles of galvanic cells, fuel cells, rechargeable cells and electrolytic cells are considered when evaluating their suitability for supplying society’s needs for energy and materials. They evaluate chemical processes with reference to factors that influence their reaction rates and extent. They investigate how the rate of a reaction can be controlled so that it occurs at the optimum rate while avoiding unwanted side reactions and by-products. Students conduct practical investigations involving thermochemistry, redox reactions, electrochemical cells, reaction rates and equilibrium systems.
Throughout the unit students use chemistry terminology, including symbols, formulas, chemical nomenclature and equations, to represent and explain observations and data from their own investigations and to evaluate the chemistry-based claims of others.
A student-designed scientific investigation involving the generation of primary data related to the production of energy and/or chemicals and/or the analysis or synthesis of organic compounds is undertaken in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both Units 3 and 4, and is assessed in Unit 4 Outcome 3. The design, analysis and findings of the investigation are presented in a scientific poster format as outlined on pages 14 and 15.

 

Week
key knowledge
Topics and Lessons

Resources/Activities

(activities listed in no particular order)

 

Significant figures
- logarithms
Lesson 1 Solutions
Lesson 2 Solutions

The following revision tasks should be given as student work over the major break. The revision tasks below are in the form of small multiple choice tests with extra reading and solutions that will assist in the revision process. Revision includes,
Excess and limiting reactants,
Empirical formulae
Percentage composition,
Ionic equations,
Half equations,
Titration,
Acid-base reactions and pH,
Significant numbers.
Concentration

General questions from past exams.

2018 NHT
2016 VCE
2015 VCE
2014 VCE
2013 VCE
2012 VCE
2011
VCE
2010
VCE
2010
HSC
2009
VCE
2008
VCE
2007
VCE
2006
VCE
2005 VCE

 

AREA OF STUDY 1
What are the current and future options for supplying energy?
In this area of study students focus on analysing and comparing a range of fossil fuels and biofuels as energy sources for society, and carbohydrates, proteins and lipids as fuel sources for the body. They write balanced thermochemical equations for the combustion of various fuels. The amounts of energy and gases produced in combustion reactions are quantified using stoichiometry. They explore how energy can be sustainably produced from chemicals to meet the needs of society while minimising negative impacts on the environment.

The selection of learning contexts should allow students to develop practical techniques to investigate how energy from fuels can be obtained and measured, and to determine the efficiency of different fuels and electrochemical cells as sources of energy. Students develop their skills in the use of scientific equipment and apparatus. They may measure energy released in combustion reactions through quantitative calorimetry experiments and may compare amounts of energy released in different fuels, such as methane, alcohols, waxes and foods. They design, construct and test galvanic and fuel cells, and account for differences between experimental findings and predictions made by using the electrochemical series. Students may work collaboratively to construct electrochemical half-cells and experiment with different combinations of half-cells to develop their own electrochemical series. Students respond to challenges such as designing an electrochemical cell that generates the most energy under laboratory conditions using a limited range of supplied chemicals and materials.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare fuels quantitatively with reference to combustion products and energy outputs, apply knowledge of the electrochemical series to design, construct and test primary cells and fuel cells, and evaluate the sustainability of electrochemical cells in producing energy for society.

To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge outlined in Area of Study 1 and the related key science skills on pages 11 and 12 of the study design.

W1-w2

Carbon-based fuels

  • the definition of a fuel, including the distinction between fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petrol) and biofuels (biogas, bioethanol, biodiesel) with reference to their renewability (ability of a resource to be replaced by natural processes within a relatively short period of time)
  • fuel sources for the body measured in kJ g-1: carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats and oils)
  • photosynthesis as the process that converts light energy into chemical energy and as a source of glucose and oxygen for respiration in living things:
    6CO2(g) + 6H2O(l) → C6H12O6(aq) + 6O2(g)
  • oxidation of glucose as the primary carbohydrate energy source, including the balanced equation for cellular respiration:
    C6H12O6(aq) + 6O2(g) → 6CO2(g) + 6H2O(l)
  • production of bioethanol by the fermentation of glucose and subsequent distillation to produce a more sustainable transport fuel:
    C6H12O6(aq) → 2C2H5OH(l) + 2CO2(g)

    Lesson 1 (Video worksheet- introduction to fuels- Part 1) (Video worksheet- introduction to fuels- Part 2)

  • comparison of exothermic and endothermic reactions, with reference to bond making and bond breaking, including enthalpy changes (∆H) measured in kJ, molar enthalpy changes measured in kJ mol-1 and enthalpy changes for mixtures measured in kJ g-1, and their representations in energy profile diagrams

    Lesson 1a Solutions (Introduction of energy profile diagrams Video - Introduction to energy profile and sample exam questions

  • determination of limiting reactants or reagents in chemical reactions
    Lesson 1b Solutions
    Video - excess and limiting calculations using combustion reactions

  • combustion (complete and incomplete) reactions of fuels as exothermic reactions: the writing of balanced thermochemical equations, including states, for the complete and incomplete combustion of organic molecules using experimental data and data tables

    Video - writing balanced thermochemical equations (the video expresses the ∆H in kJ/mol but keep in mind that, as of 2024, it can also be expressed in just kJ)
    Lesson 2-
    Video and video-worksheet solutions on writing of balanced thermochemical equations
    Lesson 2a
    - Video exercises in incomplete and complete combustion thermochemical equations
    Lesson 3 - summary of fuels
    Lesson 4 Solutions - revision of fuels.


Bio-fuels
Diesel fuels
- synthesis of biofuel
- biodiesel student booklet.
- heat of combustion of biofuel

 

 

 

Past exam questions on:

- fuels
2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020
VCE
2019 VCE
2018 VCE
2018 NHT
2017 VCE

- thermochemistry

 

2022 VCE PDF
2021 VCE PDF
2020 VCE PDF
2019 VCE PDF
2019 NHT PDF
2018
NHT PDF
2018 VCE PDF
2017 VCE PDF
2016
VCE PDF
2015 VCE PDF
2014 VCE PDF
2013 VCE PDF
2012 VCE PDF
2011 VCE PDF
2010 VCE PDF
2010
HSC
2009
VCE PDF
2009
HSC PDF
2008 VCE PDF
2007 VCE PDF
2006 VCE PDF
2005 VCE PDF

w3-w4

Measuring changes in chemical reactions

  • calculations related to the application of stoichiometry to reactions involving the combustion of fuels, including mass-mass, mass-volume and volume-volume stoichiometry, to determine heat energy released, reactant and product amounts and net volume or mass of major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and H2O), limited to standard laboratory conditions (SLC) at 25 °C and 100 kPa

    Lesson 1 Solutions (working with ΔH)

    Introduction Video of thermochemical equations worksheets (working with ΔH)

  • the use of specific heat capacity of water to approximate the quantity of heat energy released during the combustion of a known mass of fuel and food
    Lesson 2 Solutions (Stoichiometry, determining ΔH, using specific heat capacity of water)
    Lesson 3 Solutions (Stoichiometry determining ΔH using specific heat capacity of water)
    Lesson 4 Solutions (More - practice in determining ΔH using heat capacity of water)

  • the principles of solution calorimetry, including determination of calibration factor and consideration of the effects of heat loss; analysis of temperature-time graphs obtained from solution calorimetry
    Video worksheet - Introduction to finding the calibration factor of a calorimeter and how to use it.
    Lesson 5 Solutions - calibration factor, solution calorimetry and temperature time graphs
    lesson 5a Solutions - calculations with calibration factor, calorimetry, temperature time graphs, enthalpy

  • energy from fuels and food:
  • calculation of energy transformation efficiency during combustion as a percentage of chemical energy converted to useful energy
    Lesson 5b Solutions
    Video - calculations of efficiency in the combustion of fuels

  • comparison and calculations of energy values of foods containing carbohydrates, proteins and fats and oils
    Video - Calculations to determine energy in foods

    Lesson 6 Solutions (General problems on combustion reactions)
    Lesson 7 Solutions (More general problems on combustion reactions)



    Revision exercise Solutions ( 60 mark revision test covering fuels, combustion reactions, limiting reactants, energy efficiency, thermochemical equations, calorimetry as well as galvanic and electrolytic cells)

Energy (enthalpy) changes during chemical reactions

Activation energy

Energy profiles

- endothermic reactions

- exothermic reactions

Enthalpy calculations given ΔH of two related reactions

Calculating energy release

Calibration of a calorimeter - practical

Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions (Contains analytical chemistry questions IR and mass spec)

Quiz 5 Solutions

Quiz 6 Solutions

Quiz 7 Solutions

Quiz 8 Solutions

Quiz 9 Solutions

Quiz 10 Solutions

Quiz 11 Solutions (enthalpy energy profile and experimental technique)

Quiz 12 Solutions (enthalpy energy profile and experimental technique)

Quiz 13 Solutions

Revision worksheet 1Solutions

 
w5-w6

Primary galvanic cells and fuel cells as sources of energy

  • redox reactions as simultaneous oxidation and reduction processes, and the use of oxidation numbers to identify the reducing agent, oxidising agent and conjugate redox pairs
    Lesson 1 Solutions (assigning oxidation numbers and recognising redox reactions)

  • the writing of balanced half-equations (including states) for oxidation and reduction reactions, and the overall redox cell reaction in both acidic and basic conditions
    Lesson 2 Solutions (writing balanced half equations in acidic and alkaline solutions)
    Lesson 3 Solutions (Writing overall equations )

  • the common design features and general operating principles of non-rechargeable (primary) galvanic cells converting chemical energy into electrical energy, including electrode polarities and the role of the electrodes (inert and reactive) and electrolyte solutions (details of specific cells not required)
    Video worksheet
    - Labeling galvanic cells using Eo tables.
    Lesson 4a Solutions (Galvanic cells (primary cells))
    Lesson 4b Solutions (Galvanic cells)

  • the use and limitations of the electrochemical series in designing galvanic cells and as a tool for predicting the products of redox reactions, for deducing overall equations from redox half-equations and for determining maximum cell voltage under standard conditions
    Lesson 4c Solutions ( Predicting if reactions will occur in a galvanic cell using Eo tables )
    Lesson 5 Solutions (more galvanic cells revision)

  • the common design features and general operating principles of fuel cells, including the use of porous electrodes for gaseous reactants to increase cell efficiency (details of specific cells not required)
    Video worksheet fuel cells
    Lesson 6 Solutions (Fuel cells)
    - Summary of different types of fuel cells Solutions

  • the application of Faraday’s Laws and stoichiometry to determine the quantity of galvanic or fuel cell reactant and product, and the current or time required to either use a particular quantity of reactant or produce a particular quantity of product
    Video - Calculations using Faraday's law and constant to determine reactant and product quantities in galvanic and fuel cells

  • contemporary responses to challenges and the role of innovation in the design of fuel cells to meet society’s energy needs, with reference to green chemistry principles: design for energy efficiency, and use of renewable feedstocks

Revision- galvanic cells (designing and labeling) Solutions

Lesson 6a Solutions (Differences between galvanic and fuel cells and fuel cell exercises)
Lesson 7 Solutions( Revision Galvanic cells and fuel cells)
Lesson 8 Solutions( Revision redox reactions)
Lesson 9 Solutions( Revision redox reactions)
Lesson 10 Solutions ( Revision redox reactions)
Lesson 11 Solutions ( Revision galvanic cells)
Lesson 12 Solutions ( Revision fuel cells, writing half equations for different fuel cells)

Galvanic cells

Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions

Electrochemical cells
--- salt bridge
--- half equations
--- overall equations
--- potential difference
--- recharging secondary cells
--- using the electrochemical series

Practical
- developing an Eo series from four unkown half cells.

Virtual prac Eo series



Past exam questions of galvanic cells

2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020 VCE
2019 VCE
2018 VCE
2018 NHT
2017 VCE
2016
VCE
2015 VCE
2014 VCE
2013 VCE
2012
VCE
2011
VCE
2010 VCE
2010 HSC
2009 VCE
2009
HSC
2008
VCE
2006 VCE
2005 VCE








Fuel cells

Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions

Quiz 5 Solutions

Quiz 6 Solutions writing half equations for different types of fuel cells using methane and butane as fuels.

Past exam questions of fuel cells

2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020 VCE
2019 VCE
2018 VCE
2018 NHT
2017 VCE
2015
VCE
2014 VCE
2013
VCE
2012
VCE
2011
VCE
2009
VCE
2008
VCE
2006
VCE
2005
VCE

wk7

 

Revision of fuel cells and galvanic cells Solutions
Revision of galvanic,fuel and secondary cells, Solutions.
Revision of fuel, primary and secondary cells Solutions
Revision of fuel cells, primary and secondary cells Solutions

 


 

  AREA OF STUDY 2

How can the rate and yield of chemical reactions be optimised?


In this area of study, students explore the factors that affect the rate and yield of equilibrium and electrolytic reactions involved in producing important materials for society. Reactants and products in chemical reactions are treated qualitatively through the application of Le Chatelier’s principle and quantified using equilibrium expressions, reaction quotients and Faraday’s Laws. Students explore the sustainability of different options for producing useful materials for society.
The selection of learning contexts should allow students to develop practical techniques to investigate equilibrium and electrolysis. Students develop their skills in the use of scientific equipment and apparatus. They investigate reaction rates including the measurement of mass, gas volumes and time. They use an equilibrium system, such as iron(III) thiocyanate, to predict and test the effect of different changes to the system. They investigate the effect of catalysts on reaction rates, such as comparing the rate of decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using organic and inorganic catalysts. Students explore the application of electrolysis in the manufacture of useful products through experiments such as electroplating and anodising. They model and explain the operation of secondary cells: for example, those in portable devices such as laptops or cell phones. Students respond to challenges such as predicting and testing the optimum conditions under which a selected reaction can produce the highest product yield.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to experimentally analyse chemical systems to predict how the rate and extent of chemical reactions can be optimised, explain how electrolysis is involved in the production of chemicals, and evaluate the sustainability of electrolytic processes in producing useful materials for society.

To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge outlined in Area of Study 2 and the related key science skills on pages 11 and 12 of the study design


 

Rates of chemical reactions

  • factors affecting the frequency and success of reactant particle collisions and the rate of a chemical reaction in open and closed systems, including temperature, surface area, concentration, gas pressures, presence of a catalyst, activation energy and orientation

    Lesson 1 - video introduction on rates of reaction.
    Lesson 1a
    Rates of Reactions Solutions

  • the role of catalysts in increasing the rate of specific reactions, with reference to alternative reaction pathways of lower activation energies and represented using energy profile diagrams.
    Lesson 2 Solutions (Energy profile diagrams)View the video -on how an enzyme catalyst impacts the energy profile.

 

Revision Solutions (rates, electrochemical cells, enthalpy and experimental setup)

Rate of reaction

Catalysts

Rates

Quiz
1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz
3 Solutions (rates and enthalpy)

Quiz 4 Solutions (rates and enthalpy)

Quiz 5 Solutions (rates and enthalpy)

Quiz 6 Solution (rates, equilibrium and enthalpy)

 

Past exam questions on rates of reaction.

Rate questions can also be found in Equilibrium.

2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020 VCE
2019 VCE
2018 NHT
2018 VCE
2016 VCE
2014 VCE
2013 VCE
2012
VCE
2010
VCE
2009
VCE
2008
VCE
2007
VCE

 

Extent of chemical reactions

  • the distinction between reversible and irreversible reactions, and between rate and extent of a reaction
  • the dynamic nature of homogeneous equilibria involving aqueous solutions or gases, and their representation by balanced chemical or thermochemical equations (including states) and by concentration-time graphs
  • the change in position of equilibrium that can occur when changes in temperature or species or volume (concentration or pressure) are applied to a system at equilibrium, and the representation of these changes using concentration-time graphs
  • the application of Le Chatelier’s principle to identify factors that favour the yield of a chemical reaction
  • calculations involving equilibrium expressions (including units) for a closed homogeneous equilibrium system and the dependence of the equilibrium constant (K) value on the system temperature and the equation used to represent the reaction
  • the reaction quotient (Q) as a quantitative measure of the extent of a chemical reaction: that is, the relative amounts of products and reactants present during a reaction at a given point in time
  • responses to the conflict between optimal rate and temperature considerations in producing equilibrium reaction products, with reference to the green chemistry principles of catalysis and designing for energy efficiency

    Lesson 1 Solutions
    Lesson 2 Equilibrium expression and Kc Solutions
    Video summarising Qc and Kc
    Lesson 3 Changes to a system at equilibrium Solutions
    Lesson 3a Concentration vs time graphs.
    Video - to summarise concentration graphs
    Video - to summarise Qc and Kc in concentration graphs.
    Lesson 4 Visualising chemical systems at equilibrium via concentration vs time graphs and interpreting rate vs time graphs. Solutions
    Lesson 5 Solution - an example of how concentration and rate are related in a stressed system.

    Lesson 6 Optimising yield in industry using ammonia production as an example.

    Lesson 7 ICE tables Video worksheet

    Practice test on chemical equilibria. Solutions

 

Equilibrium
Le Chatelier's
-Summary of Le Chatelier's
- Fe(SCN)2+
Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions

Quiz 5 Solutions

Quiz 6 Solutions

Quiz 7 Solutions

Quiz 8 Solutions

Quiz 9 Solutions

Application of chemical equilibrium in industry. Provides good revision
Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions

Quiz 5 Solutions

Quiz 6 Solutions

 

 

Past exam question on chemical equilibria

2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020 VCE
2019
VCE
2018 NHT
2017 VCE
2016
VCE
2014 VCE
2013 VCE
2012 VCE
2011
VCE
2010
VCE
2010
HSC
2009
VCE
2009 HSC
2008
VCE
2007
VCE
2006
VCE
2005
VCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production of chemicals using electrolysis

  • the use and limitations of the electrochemical series to explain or predict the products of the electrolysis of particular chemicals, given their state (molten liquid or in aqueous solution) and the electrode materials used, including the writing of balanced equations (with states) for the reactions occurring at the anode and cathode and the overall redox reaction for the cell

    Lesson 1 Solutions Differences between galvanic and electrolytic cells and using the electrochemical series to predict half reactions
    Lesson 1a Solutions predicting half reactions in a electrolytic cell. Video worksheet

  • the common design features and general operating principles of commercial electrolytic cells (including, where practicable, the removal of products as they form), and the selection of suitable electrode materials, the electrolyte (including its state) and any chemical additives that result in a desired electrolysis product (details of specific cells not required)

    Lesson
    2 Solutions Aqueous vs molten electrolytes.

  • the role of innovation in designing cells to meet society’s energy needs in terms of producing ‘green’ hydrogen (including equations in acidic conditions) using the follo.wing methods:
    - polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis powered by either photovoltaic (solar)   or wind energy
    - artificial photosynthesis using a water oxidation and proton reduction catalyst  
      system
    Lesson 3
    Video worksheet
    - electrolysers and their use in producing green hydrogen
    Video worksheet - obtaining biohydrogen by artificial photosynthesis and the use of elecrolysers to produce green hydrogen.

  • the application of Faraday’s Laws and stoichiometry to determine the quantity of electrolytic reactant and product, and the current or time required to either use a particular quantity of reactant or produce a particular quantity of product

    Lesson
    4 Solutions Manipulating Faraday's laws .(Q= It, 1F = 96500)
    Lesson 5 Solution (Experimental determination of Faraday's constant)
    Lesson 6 Solutions Electroplating Video worksheet

Ongoing revision 1(Unit 3) Solutions - fuel cells, fuels, enthalpy, galvanic cells, electrolytic cells

Ongoing revision 2 (Unit 3) Solutions- fuel cells, fuels, enthalpy, galvanic cells, electrolytic cells.

 

Revision Solutions - electrolysis, rates and equilibrium

Electrolytic cells

--- Faraday's Law

Electrolysis in solution

Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions

Quiz 4 Solutions

Quiz 5 Solutions

Quiz 6 Solutions

Quiz 7 Solutions

Quiz 8 Solutions

Quiz 9 Solutions

Quiz 10 Solutions

Quiz 11 Solutions

Quiz 12 Solutions

Past exam question on electrolysis

2022 VCE
2021 VCE
2020 VCE
2019
VCE
2018 NHT
2017 VCE
2016
VCE
2015 VCE
2014 VCE
2013
VCE
2012
VCE
2011
VCE
2009
VCE
2009
HSC
2008
VCE
2006 VCE
2005
VCE

  • the common design features and general operating principles of rechargeable (secondary) cells, with reference to discharging as a galvanic cell and recharging as an electrolytic cell, including the conditions required for the cell reactions to be reversed and the electrode polarities in each mode (details of specific cells not required)
    Lesson 1 Solutions
    Video worksheet- secondary cells

Revision of fuel cell, primary and secondary cells Solutions

Summary of fuel cells, primary and secondary cells

Secondary cells

Quiz 1 Solutions

Quiz 2 Solutions

Quiz 3 Solutions (secondary cells and fuel cell

 

Revision 1 Solutions - equilibrium, electrolysis of solutions

Revision 2 Solutions - equilibrium, rates

Revision 3 Solutions - electrolysis

Revision 4 Solutions - equilibrium

Revision 5 Solutions - equilibrium and electrolysis

Revision 6 Solutions - equilibrium, rate, secondary cells, fuel cells, enthalpy

Revision 7 Video worksheet on enthalpy, thermochemical equations and equilibrium.

Revision 8 Solutions - rates, equilibrium, electrolysis

Revision Unit 3 Solutions