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Combustion of Alcohol Investigation

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Combustion of Alcohol Investigation Plans In order to investigate the heats of combustion of a series of alcohols, I am going to measure the amount of energy that each alcohol gives out when it is burned. I will carry out an experiment to see how much heat energy each of the alcohols will give off when it is burned in air. I will investigate the energy transferred by each alcohol and also the energy transferred per mole, by each alcohol. I will also look at bond energies. Apparatus 1 empty tin can 1 crucible + mineral wool A tripod and gauze Thermometer Support for crucible to stand on 2 x 1.69g of Methanol 2 x 1.69g of Ethanol 2 x 1.69g of Propanol 2 x 1.69g of Butanol 2 x 1.69g of Pentanol 100 cm� of Water Ruler to measure distance from crucible to tin can Matches or cigarette lighter to ignite fuel A balance Method 1.69g of one of the five Alcohols I am using will be placed, along with some mineral wool, in a crucible; which will then be weighed on a balance. ...read more.


Energy transferred = mass of water (g) x 4.2 x temperature change The number 4.2 is called the specific heat capacity of water, in joules per gram per degree Celsius. Suppose we have 10g of water and we heat it up by 1 C Energy transferred = 10 x 4.2 x 1 = 42J Now if we use an alcohol as an example. Let's say that I have 200g of water and I've used the energy from burning some Ethanol to heat it up by 2 C Energy transferred = 200 x 4.2 x 2 = 1680J Now if I wanted to work out how much energy per mole of Ethanol was transferred, here's what I would need to do. Firstly I would need to work out the mass of fuel used. Let's say I used 2g of Ethanol. The molar mass of Ethanol is as follows: C H OH = (12 x 2) + (1 x 5) ...read more.


+ (1 x 7) + 16 +1 = 60g Butanol C H OH = (12 x 4) + (1 x 9) + 16 +1 = 74g Pentanol C H OH = (12 x 5) + (1 x 11) + 16 + 1 = 88g Each of the moles of these five different alcohols is a different size. But they are larger than each other, going up in progressive steps, an extra CH each time. When alcohols burn, an exothermic reaction occurs. This is because when the alcohol burns, more bonds (between Atoms) are being made than are being broken, so heat is given off. In a larger molecule, more bonds need to be broken; therefore more bonds are made, in an exothermic reaction that gives off more heat. So a larger molecule, in this case, means that there will be more heat energy given out. Therefore, I predict that the size of the molecule will be proportional to the amount of energy given out. So the amount of energy given out, when the same amount of alcohol is used each time, should go up in even steps. This is my prediction. ...read more.

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