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GCSE Science Coursework

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Introduction

GCSE Science Coursework Title: Burning Fuels. What are you trying to find out? I will be carrying out an investigation, which allows me to calculate and compare how much energy/fuel is used to raise 100cmcubed of water to 20 degrees centigrade. I will be using 5 different fuels; Butanol, Pentanol, Propanol, Methanol and Ethanol. The aim is to find out how much energy is produced when burning these alcohols. Alcohol's react with oxygen in the air to form water and carbon dioxide. This is an exothermic reaction, meaning that when energy is put in, more energy is given off. The formulae of the alcohols that I will be using are. Methanol CH OH Ethanol C H OH Propanol C H OH Butanol C H OH Pentanol C H OH Prediction: I predict that the more bonds there are holding the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms together; more energy will be required to break them apart. For example Ethanol has the formula C H OH. ...read more.

Middle

There will be 15 altogether. Controlled variables. To make sure the experiment will be a fair and reliable test, I will keep the following exactly the same every time the experiment is done; same distance between the burner and the can containing the water. Same temperature change in degrees centigrade. I will always use a foil shield placed around the burner to stop the wind blowing out the flame. Mass of water, 100cm. Type of container, tin. The same set of scales and always weigh the alcohol with the lid on. Safety aspects: Tie long hair back, work standing up, never leave a flame unattended, turn flame off roaring after heating, tidy all other objects and work away. Method: The method I used to conduct my experiment went as followed: Measure 100cm of water in to a tin container. Place the container into the grasp of the clamp stand. Record the starting temperature of the water Weigh the alcohol burner with the lid on. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because there are more bonds in the alcohols with more carbons per molecule than in the alcohols with fewer carbons per molecule. When energy is put in, the bonds are broken. For the bonds to form again, energy is given out, and the amount of energy given out in the reaction is greater than that put in, meaning the reaction is exothermic. This means that to start the reaction, you need energy. Once the reaction is started, you get more energy back than you put in. This means that if you put more energy in, you get more energy out. You need more energy to break the bonds of Pentanol than Methanol, so you will get more energy out of burning Pentanol per mole, that you will with burning Methanol per mole. Overall the experiment went well for me, even though the results could have been more accurate had I used foil to protect my flame and heat loss. I'm glad that I didn't use foil however, as it gives me something to change next time and improve on in further experiments. By Tom Spence 11H. ...read more.

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