• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

Comparing the enthalpy changes of different alcohols

Extracts from this document...


Stephanie Wickers 8th November 2004 Comparing the enthalpy changes of different alcohols In this coursework, I am going to find the enthalpy change of combustion of a number of different alcohols so that I can investigate why and how the enthalpy change is affected by the molecular structure of the alcohol. The enthalpy change of combustion is the energy given off when one mole of a fuel is completely burned in oxygen, under standard conditions. I carried out a practical trial experiment to find out the enthalpy changes of hexane and methanol. I calculated the enthalpy changes of combustion of the two fuels and found that they were completely different to the data book values. This would probably have mainly been down to the heat loss to the surroundings. I have learned from the trial experiment that I need to improve my method of preventing this. If I use the same equipment, set up in a slightly different way I should be able to achieve more accurate results, and make fairly accurate comparisons between the enthalpies of the fuels. This is only true if we ensure that the temperature losses are the same. This is achievable by using the same starting temperature and heating the water to the same temperature in each experiment. The same quantities of energy must have been released if they heated the same volume of water through the same temperature rise and so it should be simple to calculate the ?Hc� in KJmol-1. The alcohols that I will be using and comparing are: * Methanol (CH3OH) * Ethanol (CH3CH2OH) * Propan-1-ol (CH3CH2CH2OH) * Butan-1-ol (CH3CH2CH2CH2OH) These alcohols are from the same homologous series and are all straight chain alkanes, this means that it will be a fairer test as all of the structural formulae are the same apart from the number of carbon atoms and the number of hydrogen atoms. ...read more.


Use the measuring cylinder to accurately measure out 200cm3 of cold water. Pour this into the copper calorimeter and take the temperature of the water. Next, the mass of the first fuel needs to be recorded. In an attempt to reduce the error of the mass, three readings need to be taken and the average mass calculated. Then the spirit burner will need to be positioned under the calorimeter at a height of 10cm above the top, and the remainder of the draft exclusion system needs to be arranged. Balance a heat proof mat on the top of the two side ones ensuring that there is enough space left for the thermometer to move in the calorimeter. Carefully light the spirit burner, and place the final heat proof mat in front of the spirit burner. Monitor the temperature of the water, as it gradually increases. Once the temperature has increased by 17�C snuff out the spirit burner and continue to stir the water in the calorimeter. Record the highest temperature that the water reaches after heating. Once this has been recorded, reweigh the spirit burner (three times and calculate the average). Empty the water from the calorimeter and rinse with cold water and make a note of any incomplete combustion (soot) around the base of the can. Repeat the experiment for all four fuels and record all results. Results Mass tables Fuel used Initial mass of Fuel (g) Average Final Mass of Fuel (g) Average 1 2 3 1 2 3 Ethanol 217.9 217.92 217.9 217.9 215.3 215.31 215.33 215.3 Methanol 215.43 215.44 215.44 215.44 213.28 213.28 213.29 213.29 Propan-1-ol 222.23 222.21 222.22 222.21 219.97 219.99 219.98 219.98 Butan-1-ol 218.03 218.05 218.05 218.05 216.4 216.39 216.41 216.4 Final results table Fuel Initial temp of water �C Final temp of water �C Temp rise of water �C Mass of water used (g) Initial Mass of fuel (g) ...read more.


The molecular structures of the compounds are as follows: Ethanol: H H | | H-C-C-O-H | | H H Methanol: H | H-C-O-H | H Propan-1-ol: H H H | | | H - C - C - C - O - H | | | H H H Butan-1-ol: H H H H | | | | H -C -C -C -C -O -H | | | | H H H H The enthalpy of combustion of alcohols, within the same homologous series is affected by the molecular structure of the compound. The numbers of CH2 groups have an effect on the enthalpy of the molecule, because it increases the number of bonds that will need to be broken and reformed within the compound during combustion. For example, in Methanol, there is a CH3 group and an OH group. These bonds, when formed are what determines the enthalpy change of combustion of the alcohol. When Methanol is burned in oxygen the thermo chemical equation is: CH3OH + 2/3 O2 -->-->--> Co2 + 2H2O This means that when Methanol is burned the following bonds need to be broken. C -H C -H C -H C -O O -H These bonds all absorb energy when they are broken and therefore endothermic giving a positive value. The enthalpy of the bond breaking al ads up to: 413 x 3 = 1239 KJ 358 x 1 = 358 KJ 464 x 1 = 464 KJ Total: + 2061 KJ When bonds are formed in a compound the enthalpies will be negative because they release energy into the surroundings. The bonds that will be formed in the CO2 and H2O are: C - O C - O O - H O - H O - H O - H 358 x 2 = - 716 464 x 4 = - 1856 Total: - 1140 Therefore the total bond enthalpy in the combustion of methanol = 921 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Organic Chemistry essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The purpose of this lab is to identify two different unknown organic compounds, through ...

    3 star(s)

    The rest can be used for further experimentation. 3. Now, test the solubility in water of the 2 liquids, if it is an alkane, alkene or an alcohol. Because they all have different reactions with water. (Hex-1-ene and Methylpentan-1-ol is insoluble .Hexane and Hexan-1-olis soluble)

  2. Investigating the Combustion of Alcohols

    There are a number of modifications to the method which could be used to provide more accurate and reliable results. * A narrow flame should be used.

  1. Comparing the Enthalpy changes of Combustion of different Alcohols.

    x (temperature rise in water) x 4.2J 189.7g x 20oC x 4.2J = 15934.80J (2.d.p.)

  2. hydrogen peroxide experiment

    And thus provide results with a smaller variation in time in proportion to the time taken to displace 30cm� of water in the burette. The amount of catalyst was changed to 0.1g and this provided a time of 16.16 seconds.

  1. The Green House effect.

    This chart shows the comparisons between the two fuels diesel and biodiesel. Biodiesel can be blended with diesel and used in any vehicle that runs on diesel. Any engines built since 1994 can also run on biodiesel without any or few medications.

  2. Comparing the Enthalpy Changes of Combustion of Different Alcohols

    Although quite good given the apparatus available will not be able to achieve accurate results. This is because there are so many factors involved that I do not have control over. For instance in my experiment I cannot ensure a constant supply of oxygen to the flame of the spirit

  1. Investigating the different amounts of heat given off by different alcohols in spirit burners ...

    Other smaller factors include: stirring the water using the large stem thermometer during the experiment to speed up the reaction, zeroing the top pan balance so that the weight is more accurately measured and cleaning the soot off the glass container between experiments using tap water and cloths so that it does not affect the heat transferral.

  2. GCSE Chemistry Revision Notes - everything!

    Domestic plumbing as it doesn?t react with water and is easily bent into shape. 3. Making brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc in various proportions. 4. Making coins. ?Silver? coins are made from an alloy of copper and nickel (?cupronickel?).

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