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Investigation on Energy released from Combustion of Alcohols.

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Introduction

Investigation on Energy released from Combustion of Alcohols Our experiment was designed to investigate which alcohol released the most energy when burned. Our plan was to measure the mass of the alcohol combusted when heating a specific volume of water to a specific temperature. We conducted this experiment on 5 different alcohols: Methanol, Ethanol, Propanol, Butanol and Pentanol. This was repeated 3 times for a better spread of results. These are our results. This table shows the mass of alcohol used to heat 20ml of water from 23o C (Room temp.) to 60o C. Pentanol lost the least mass when heating the water. When an alcohol burns it reacts with Oxygen to produce CO2 and Water. ...read more.

Middle

This is because the products give out more energy than the reactants took in. The overall heat change shows the kJ of energy produced form burning one mole of the alcohol. As the size of the alcohol molecule increases, the energy released also increases. I predict that Hexanol would give out even more energy than Pentanol. Hexanol + Oxygen Carbon Dioxide + Water C6H13OH + 9 O2 6 CO2 + 7 H2O This table displays the hypothetical details of the combustion of Hexanol. My prediction was correct. As the size of the molecule increases, the energy produced also increases. This table shows exactly how many kJ of energy were produced during the experiment. When we lit the spirit burner, we supplied the energy to start breaking bonds. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heat is given out resulting in a decrease of energy in the reactants. E- Reaction stops because the flame is blown out. Products at constant temperature. There are some factors that may have made our results less accurate. Firstly, we didn't always make sure that the test tube of water was the same distance from the flame. Secondly, we didn't always check that the water was at the same temperature every time we conducted the experiment. These factors could have amounted to a poor set of results. If I repeated the experiment, I would make sure that there was plenty of oxygen under the sheet of aluminium foil because at one stage of the experiment there was some incomplete combustion. There wasn't enough oxygen to make the carbon dioxide, resulting in carbon soot forming on the test tube. I would also test substances, other than alcohols. ...read more.

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