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Investigate which fuels contain the most energy between; firelighter, wood, ethanol, paraffin and wax.

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Contents 1. Aim 2. Prediction 3. Apparatus 4. Method 5. Results - Preliminary test 6. Conclusion 7. Results for Ethanol and Firelighter 8. Conclusion 9. Evaluation 10. Sources Aim: I am going to investigate which fuels contain the most energy between; firelighter, wood, ethanol, paraffin and wax. Prediction: I think that the fuel that contains the most energy is the one that produces the highest rise in temperature of the water. I know this because... Heat + fuel + oxygen => CO2 + H20 + energy. And because of the fire triangle: Apparatus: List: Stop watch Thermometer Splint Clamp Matches Boiling tube Heat proof mat Fuels: Firelighter, Wood, Ethanol, Paraffin, Wax. Method (Preliminary test): first of all, I will make sure I take all of the safety precautions, I.e. tie back long hair, use goggles and make sure the room is well ventilated. Secondly I will set out the apparatus and get all the equipment from the list (shown on the previous page). Using the measuring cylinder, I will put 20cm3 of distilled water into a boiling tube, and take the starting temperature. In order to make this a fair test I will burn the fuel for one minute only, use 20cm3 of water and make sure the tip of the fuel's flame is under the boiling tube. ...read more.


I have tested those two against each other three times, found the average of each time and have come up with the following results. Results for ethanol and firelighter: Table of results for ethanol: TEMP (�C) TIME IN SECONDS First time Second time Third time Average time 30 25 23 14 21 40 64 63 56 61 50 83 102 86 90 60 154 129 108 130 70 184 157 131 157 80 226 183 161 123 90 275 211 179 222 100 395 229 203 276 Table of results for fire lighter: TEMP (�C) TIME IN SECONDS First time Second time Third time Average time 30 23 26 18 22 40 131 106 59 99 50 202 202 116 173 60 215 301 130 215 70 238 337 141 239 80 306 409 150 288 90 356 430 157 314 100 446 455 209 370 Conclusion: To conclude; I think that ignoring the result taken under 80�C, ethanol is more of a steady line of best fit, but did not double with a set amount of time therefore also did not increase 10�C every 10 seconds so it was not directly proportional. whereas firelighter has more of a curve of best fit, which after reaching 70�C increases to a steeper line of best fit. ...read more.


transferred to the water. I got this equation, from information in a science book saying it requires 4200J to heat up 1 kg of water by 1�C so then to change that to ml as my investigation was in ml I know that 1 kg = 1L of water which =1000 ml, so then 4200/1000 = 4.2, Then x 20, as that's how many millilitres I used for my experiment, which = 84 then to get the (J) I do 84 x the amount of degrees the water had risen to = the amount of energy transferred to it in (J)! Another way to improve the accuracy of the experiment would be to improve the fact that unspecified amounts of fuel where used, as we did not weigh the fuel therefore it was not a completely fair experiment. For instance it can be safely assumed that if we used twice as much ethanol, we would get a flame twice as big. So the water would reach 100�C much quicker and probably in half the time. Although you will need to do a separate experiment to prove this assumption. If this experiment is repeated, I recommend that the same amount of each fuel is used and the experiment continues until all the fuel runs out. To make the experiment even more fair all the fuels should be at the same temperature at the start. Sources: Letts, GCSE Science. ...read more.

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