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I am going to investigate what determines the viscosity of oil and why it varies.

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Lacy Beare 10.15 Monday 9th June 2003 Chemistry Investigation The viscosity of oil Aim: I am going to investigate what determines the viscosity of oil and why it varies. Method- After setting up the equipment (shown below), I will make sure that the microscope slide that is 7.6cm long, has a horizontal line 6.5cm from the bottom and a line down the middle with a marker pen, this will then make a cross and will determine each time where I will drop 1 drop of oil from. I will position the slide 4cm from the bottom of the wooden block, this will give a suitable angle for the oil to run down. I will use 6 variables, the 5 shown below and water, water will represent a liquid that has no carbon atoms in and it also gives a presentable number of variables. I will also repeat these variables 3 times each to make it a fair experiment. After each experiment I will clean the slide thoroughly to make sure that no oil is left on the slide which could make the next experiment an unfair one, I will also make sure that I leave the 2 lines on the microscope slide and the plastercine underneath the slide in the same place to keep it at the same height. For each set of results I will time how long it takes for the oil to run from the given mark to the bottom. ...read more.


Things that change when molecules get bigger- 1. Physical state- they are gas when they have small molecules, but when they have bigger molecules and they have stronger intermolecular forces it makes them liquids and even solids. 2. Boiling point- because larger molecules have stronger intermolecular forces which means they need more heat to break. 3. The viscosity of oil- when molecules are bigger and they have longer chains and stronger intermolecular forces, they stick together and form even longer chains which give bigger surface areas which in turn make them more viscous. Small molecules Large molecules Relevant information from trials-From the trialings I did before the proper experiment, I found out that dropping 2 drops of oil from the pipette runs drown the microscope slide too quickly and would be too difficult to time it accurately from both 3cm high and 4cm high. Then I tired 1 drop of oil at 3cm high but it ran too slowly and would make my experiment go over the one day, so I decided to do 1 drop of oil with the microscope slide 4cm high from the bottom of the wooden block. Results Substance 1st try 2nd try 3rd try Average Water 0.82 1.12 0.74 0.89 Pentane 2.37 2.78 3.15 2.77 Hexane 2.56 6.91 8.41 5.96 Decane 5.63 19.84 17.62 14.36 Dodecane 34.02 35.43 33.06 34.17 Hexadecane 55.3 70.84 64.23 63.45 Substance 1st try 2nd try 3rd try Average Average Water 0.82 1.12 0.74 0.89 0.89 ...read more.


of the pipette onto the slide, this might of effected the results because people have different reaction times and this could of made a lot of difference to the results. I would make sure that next time if at all possible to do all the "result collecting" on the same day so all of the same equipment could be used, because when I did the experiment this time it was done over a couple of days and I couldn't make sure if I was using all of the same equipment. Also I was unable to completely sterilise the glass slide after it had been in contact with each type of oil, this may have made my results unreliable. Lastly I couldn't be sure whether the same amount of oil was dropped out of the pipette each time .All these could have contributed to the couple of anomalies I collected. Further work- you can also test the viscosity of oil by heating them up and using their boiling points as a variable to compare the oils and see what is the most viscous. As oils get more viscous their chains of molecules get longer which means that they become stronger to break apart when they are exposed to high temperatures. I could set up the experiment with a Bunsen burner and beaker containing the oil, and then see how long it takes to boil, although this maybe difficult as oils have very high boiling points. Diagram ...read more.

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