• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparing the Enthalpy changes of combustion of different alcohols

Extracts from this document...


Comparing the Enthalpy changes of combustion of different alcohols Aim: The aim of this experiment is to find out how the enthalpy change (total energy released when the alcohols are completely combusted in a plentiful supply of air) for 5 different alcohols is affected by the number of carbon atoms in the alcohol and other factors contributing to the molecular structure. Prediction: I predict that as the amount of carbon atoms in the alcohol increases, the higher the enthalpy of combustion will be. I have made this prediction, using the values for the enthalpy change of combustion for each alcohol, calculated using bond enthalpies and Hess' law. Methanol's molecular formula is CH3OH. This is the basic structure for all the alcohols, then to make the larger ones an extra carbon is added to the existing carbon each time and the oxygen-hydrogen molecule gets added to the atoms added to the new carbon atom When methanol combusts in air, it reacts with oxygen molecules to from water and carbon dioxide. The balanced equation fort this is: CH3OH (l) + 1.5O2 (g) CO2 (g) + 2H2O (l) This means that the bonds broken are; 3 carbon- hydrogen, 1 carbon-oxygen, 1 oxygen-hydrogen and 1.5 oxygen- oxygen (double bond) and the bonds broken are; 2 carbon- oxygen (double bond) and 4 oxygen-hydrogen. Constructing a Hess' law cycle will show how these are linked together: CH3OH (l) + 1.5O2 (g) CO2 (g) + 2H2O (l) C (g) + 4H (g) + 4O (g) N.B. bond enthalpies are for elements in their gaseous states If a calculation for the amount of energy needed to break the bonds is made and then the amount of energy given out from bond formation, the resultant energy difference (negative because the reaction is exothermic) ...read more.


This has sufficient measuring accuracy, as the amount of water is quite high, so using a more accurate measuring device will not significantly increase the accuracy of my experiment. I have used 100cm� of water because it is enough to have a low percentage error when it is measured, but it will reach the temperature rise quicker than a larger amount of water, leading to a lower amount of burning time, which means less heat energy is lost to the surroundings and a more precise result is achieved. I will then pour the water into a small copper calorimeter. I am using a copper calorimeter because copper is a good conductor of heat, so a higher percentage of the heat from the burning fuel will be transferred to the water to be measured. It is small to reduce the amount of energy that the calorimeter absorbs itself. I shall then set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram, with a safety mat, the calorimeter held by a clamp stand, with the thermometer inside and draught shields set up all around the experiment. The draught shields have reflective surfaces and so will reduce the amount of energy lost to the surroundings by convection and radiation by reflecting the heat back in on the experiment. I will make sure that the spirit burner is filled with methanol to start off and that the wick is about 1cm long so that for each experiment the flame will be about the same height, leading to more precise results. The wicks will also be of the same thickness, so that the alcohols have the same surface area to burn from so that the experiment ...read more.


molar mass of methanol = 12 + 16 + 4(1) = 22. I can then work out the amount of energy given out per mole of fuel burnt by dividing the energy given out by the amount of moles burnt. I will then divide this by 1000 to change the final units to kJmol-1 and I will have the enthalpy change of combustion for the fuel. I will do this for each alcohol and record the results in a table and display them as a graph, ready for analysis. Safety-Hazard assessment: These are the safety considerations I will take into account when doing my experiments- * The alcohols are flammable, so they need to be handled carefully and never exposed to a naked flame * The experiment produces heat, so I need to take care when handling hot equipment i.e. wait until they've cooled down * Alcohol vapours can catch fire at very low temperatures, so whenever possible keep the lid on the spirit burners and re-fill them in a fume cupboard * The fumes have a toxic effect if inhaled-make sure the room is well ventilated. Seek medical attention if they are inhaled * They are irritating to skin so if split on skin or eyes, rinse with water and seek medical attention * If they are any spillages, I will clear them up as I go to avoid any fire hazard, and will remove any clothes that have spillages * I will wear safety goggles at all times to protect my eyes and will cover my skin where possible * I will take care with other people's experiments as well, trying not to expose their alcohols to a naked flame Sources used in plan: Chemical Ideas - Salters advanced chemistry Activity book - Developing fuels Marc Duxbury ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Organic Chemistry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Organic Chemistry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Preparation of propanone from propan-2-ol

    5 star(s)

    There was a loss of product during the extractions. First, when we distilled out the propanone from the reaction mixture, some propanone might be vapoured and condense and stuck to the wall of the pear-shaped flask, the thermometer and other apparatus it passed through. So, the product obtained was slightly reduced.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Comparing the enthalpy changes of combustion of different alcohols

    3 star(s)

    Ref: http://www.redfishmarketing.com.au/prodcat5946_2 * Clamp and stand - clamp and stand is used to hold the copper can while heating up the water. Ref: http://www.mathsonline.co.nz/demo/sol/shell.php?content=lab_equip.php * Electronic balance (to 2 d.p.) - it is used to weight the alcohols to find out their masses.

  1. The Relationship Between The Number of Carbon Atoms In An Alcohol And Its Standard ...

    (In degrees) (In degrees) (In degrees) (In grams) (In grams) (In grams) (KJ) (KJ/Mol) Methanol CH3OH 32 300 ml 19 34 15 169.17 167.23 1.94 18.90 0.060625000 -311.75257732 Ethanol C2H5OH 46 300 ml 22 41 19 216.34 215.06 1.28 23.94 0.027826087 -860.34375000 Ethanol C2H5OH 46 300 ml 18 35 17

  2. Find the enthalpy change of combustion of a number of alcohol's' so that you ...

    x 12600 = -281250 j - 281250/1000 = 281.25 kJ mol-1 I repeated the same steps for working out the enthalpy for ethanol trial 2. Ethanol trial 2 standard enthalpy of combustion = -294.39 kJ mol-1 The average for these 2 results is = (-294.39 + -281.25)/2 = - 287.82

  1. Investigating the Enthalpy Changes of Combustion of Alcohols.

    Anyway, about the specific heat capacity, it is measured in joules per gram per degree Kelvin (Jg-1K-1). Water has a heat capacity of 4.2 Jg-1K-1 (approximate), this means it takes 4.2 joules to raise one gram of water by one degree Kelvin.

  2. The aim of this experiment is to produce Aspirin. This is an estrification in ...

    Normal water will not do because of the impurities in it. * Funnel - This allows hydrochloric acid to be poured into the burette so none is spilt. * Pipette 25cm� - This is used to accurately draw out the correct amount of a substance from a solution.

  1. The aim of this experiment is to investigate the enthalpy change of combustion for ...

    on the carbon atom this in turn means that the hydrogen atom and carbon atom become partially positively charged. The movement of electrons due to the electronegativity of one or more atoms creates a partial charge or .This is known as a dipole.

  2. Classifications of Alcohols Experiment

    is attached to two alkyl group, hence the product formed is a ketone group, 2-butanone. Besides, the two removed hydrogen atom will react with oxygen to form a water molecule. For n-butanol and alcohol X, a pale green solution is formed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work