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In this experiment, I plan to find out the difference in energy release between different sorts of alcohols. To do this I will test how much alcohol is required to increase the temperature of 100ml of water by 30 degrees Celsius.

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Introduction

Plan In this experiment, I plan to find out the difference in energy release between different sorts of alcohols. To do this I will test how much alcohol is required to increase the temperature of 100ml of water by 30 degrees Celsius. Obviously, many factors may affect my results, therefore making them less reliable. To improve my results, I will carry out some preliminary research to see if I can improve the reliability and accuracy. Please see attached preliminary work for details (sheet 2a). The preliminary work showed, in short, that it was beneficial to use an aluminium foil shield to reduce heat loss. I will set up my apparatus as shown below. To ensure my experiment is safe, I will sport goggles and comply with all of the normal laboratory requirements, such as not sitting on benches. To further my acknowledgement of safety, I will have to take care as one of the alcohols burns with a clear flame. I predict that, from observing my bond energy calculations (sheet 1a), the alcohol that will heat up the water in the least weight loss will be Butanol. ...read more.

Middle

1.10 Methanol Initial weight of burner (with lid) (grams) Weight after 30C temperature rise (with lid) (grams) Weight loss (grams) 1st attempt 245.78 244.75 1.03 2nd attempt 244.48 243.16 1.32 (ignored) 3rd attempt 243.02 241.98 1.04 Average weight loss (grams) 1.04 Butanol Initial weight of burner (with lid) (grams) Weight after 30C temperature rise (with lid) (grams) Weight loss (grams) 1st attempt 250.46 249.97 0.49 2nd attempt 249.65 249.14 0.51 3rd attempt 249.01 248.47 0.54 Average weight loss (grams) 0.51 Propanol Initial weight of burner (with lid) (grams) Weight after 30C temperature rise (with lid) (grams) Weight loss (grams) 1st attempt 207.24 206.01 1.23 2nd attempt 205.92 204.72 1.2 3rd attempt 204.67 203.45 1.22 Average weight loss (grams) 1.22 Analysis Using the above results, I am now able to work out the energy transferred per mole. Energy required in order to heat up 100ml water by 30 degrees (using the formula 'energy = mass * temperature change * specific heat capacity): 100ml = roughly 100g 100g * 30 degrees * 4.2 = 12600J = 12.6kJ Using this, I can find out how much energy was transferred into the water ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation Although I tried to maintain accuracy throughout my work, undoubtedly, many factors influenced the true precision. Factors which I believe effected my results are as follows: * Heat loss to the surroundings; therefore, energy that should have heated the water was wasted. * Evaporation loosing water, therefore meaning there was less water present to be heated. * Evaporation is a cooling process and therefore heat may have been lost this way. To overcome heat loss, I did primary research and found out that a heat shield was the most beneficial way to reduce this. This, however, may have presented another problem of incomplete combustion of the alcohol due to lack of oxygen. To fix this problem, I could implement some form of oxygen pump. The procedure itself was fine for the levels of reliability I hoped to achieve, yet, if being tested in a laboratory for professional use, more expensive equipment could be used that is beyond our means. The evidence does support my predictions fully, and it safe to say it is sufficient to support a firm conclusion about the series of alcohols. To expand the experiment further, I could test other alcohols and investigate the associations betwixt them. ...read more.

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