Posted: November 9th, 2015

Catalysts, redox reactions, and photon-matter interactions

Catalysts, redox reactions, and photon-matter interactions

(1) Explain the role of one catalyst in the environment that you have read about in

the past three weeks.  How does it act as a catalyst?  Can this catalyst change the

amount of products you can obtain at equilibrium? Explain.
(2) Both oxidation states and Lewis structures can provide insight into how stable

a molecule is in its environment.  So please practice these two concepts by showing

your calculations for the oxidation states of all the atoms in each of the

following molecules and ions and draw the Lewis structure of each of the molecules

a)     SO2
b)    S8
c)    H2O
d)    PbO
e)    H2SO3
f)      H2SO4
g)    NH3
h)    NO2-
i)      NO3-
j)      N2O
Based upon the Lewis structures you drew, which of the molecules is the least

stable at typical conditions on earth?
Based upon the oxidation states you provided, which of these molecules is the least

stable when exposed to our atmosphere?
(3)  As stated previously, oxidation occurs constantly in our environment.

Described two redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions in your environment (where in

our environment do they occur), using balanced chemical half reaction equations,

and a sentence describing why they are redox reactions. Summarize the role of the

biosphere in maintaining an oxidizing environment on Earth after reading the paper

by Lovelock and Margulisfoundin the eReserves area under “Content,” “Course

(4)  Atomic absorption spectrometry is a commonly used analytical technique.

Explain the basis of atomic absorption spectrometry in your words in 2-3 sentences,

and then explain how it relates to the concepts of photon-matter interactions that

we have discussed in class.
(5)  One of your classmates states that all chemical reactions need energy.

Another student states that can’t be true since lots of reactions occur at room

temperature without any energy input.  Since you have read your assignments really

closely, you reply with a great explanation stating___________________________.
(6) Fill in the following blanks with appropriate words or phrases:
a)    The stabilization of nuclear waste in a glassy matrix takes advantage of the

___________________ needed to reach thermodynamic equilibrium from glass to

b)    _______________cannot be created or destroyed, and is recycled.
c)    A molecules or atom that has an unpaired number of electrons is called a

__________________________.  These are important due to their

___________________________.  An example of such a molecule or atom that we have

discussed in class or our course readings is _____________________.


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