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In this experiment, I plan to find out the difference in energy release between different sorts of alcohols.

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GCSE Chemistry Investigation 2002 Introduction A fuel is a substance that is burnt to produce energy. There are many types of fuel including crude oil, food, alcohol and coal. A good fuel is a fuel which burns efficiently and gives off a lot of heat. A fuel can be solid liquid or gas. Prediction I predict that as Butanol has the highest concentration of Carbon and Hydrogen atoms it will burn most efficiently and give off the most heat energy of the four alcohols. Therefore as Methanol has the lowest concentration of Carbon and Hydrogen molecules it will be the least efficient and give off the least heat. Fair Tests In order to make sure it is a fair test there will be only one variable and everything else is constant. Preliminary Experiments Having performed all of my preliminary experiments I have decided to choose a glass beaker rather than a tin as it is easier to observe how the water is reacting to the heat being given off by the alcohol, also I believe that the water would boil too quickly in a tin as tin is a better conductor of heat. I have decided to use two fairly close distances from the flame. ...read more.


Methanol - 2CH3OH + 3O2 = 4H2O + 2CO2 Bonds Broken Bonds Formed C-H 6 x 413 = 2478 O-H 8 x 464 = 3712 C-O 2 x 358 = 716 C=O 4 x 805 = 3220 O-H 2 x 464 = 928 = 6932 O=O 3 x 498 = 1494 = 5616 5616 - 6932 = -1316 Therefore final is -658 EXOTHERMIC Ethanol - C2H5OH + 3O2 = 3H2O + 2CO2 Bonds Broken Bonds Formed C-H 5 x 413 = 2065 O-H 6 x 464 = 2784 C-C 1 x 346 = 346 C=O 4 x 805 = 3220 C-O 1 x 358 = 358 = 6004 O-H 1 x 464 = 464 O=O 3 x 498 = 1494 = 4727 4727 - 6004 = -1277 EXOTHERMIC Propanol - 2C3H7OH + 9O2 = 8H2O + 6CO2 Bonds Broken Bonds Formed C-H 3 x 346 = 1038 O-H 16 x 464 = 7424 C-C 4 x 346 = 1384 C=O 12 x 805 = 9660 C-O 2 x 358 = 716 = 17084 O-H 2 x 464 = 928 O=O 9 x 498 = 4482 = 13292 13292 - 17084 = -3792 Therefore final is -1896 EXOTHERMIC Butanol - C4H9OH + 6O2 = 5H2O + 4CO2 Bonds Broken Bonds Formed C-C 3 x 346 = 1038 O-H 10 x 464 = 4640 C-H 9 x 413 ...read more.


However all safety precautions were taken and the results were taken as accurately as is possible. There are many other aspects such as heat loss due to drafts in the lab which could knock the flame off course for a considerable amount of time so possibly a shield around the apparatus with air vents would contribute to more accurate results. If this experiment were carried out professionally I believe that it would be done in a sealed laboratory with a constant oxygen supply for the alcohol to burn in and all of the equipment would be high quality and electronic. For example an electronic thermometer. I believe there are a few anomalies in the results such as the third repeat for methanol when the temperature rose by 22 when previously it had only risen by ten and eleven degrees centigrade. If the experiment were done professionally I also believe that many repeats would be made to get a far more accurate average for each alcohol. I think there were some anomalies in my results and I do believe that some of the evidence is unreliable as the equipment was not constantly being monitored. The evidence could also be slightly unreliable as the equipment is not entirely accurate. I believe that finally all of the experiments could have benefited from being done in a controlled laboratory. Jack Lenox 11C ...read more.

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