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Investigation into burning fuels.

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Investigation into burning fuels Plan Aim: To measure the energy given by 7 different alcohols and how well they burn. Experiment Aims: In this experiment I am going to investigate the effects of burning seven different alcohols. These fuels are: - * Ethanol C2H5OH * Propan-1-ol C3H7OH * Butanol C4H9OH * Pentanol C5H11OH * Hexanol C6H13OH * Heptanol C7H15OH * Octanol C8H17OH As all of these fuels are alcohols they all have similar properties so differences can be attributed to energy efficiency and possibly the bad design of the experiment and not to other factors. To carry out this investigation I will burn each alcohol in turn and use them to heat a constant amount of water for a constant amount of time and measure the temperature difference. I will also measure the difference in mass before and after the experiment to see how much of the substance was used to produce the heat. I will display all of this information after the experiment in graphs and tables and I will use these to analyse the effectiveness of the experiment. I will look for relationships and trends in the graphs and tables. All of this would allow me to find out, hopefully, which is the most efficient fuel and which one is a better burner. Background Knowledge and research: I have some background knowledge of alcohols and how energy is transferred in reactions from previous chemistry experiments, but mainly in Physics. All pure alcohols are composed only of Hydrogen, oxygen and Carbon molecules, and it is because of this high Hydrogen content that they burn so well. ...read more.


I will do the same with temperature. I will record the time, water volume and distance from the flame also which must all be kept constant. These results will be collected 21 times, 3 times for each fuel. Results Table A Table Of Temperature against Weight. Fuel Start Temperature (0C) Finish Temperature (0C) Temperature Difference (0C) Start Weight (g) Finish Weight (g) Weight Difference (g) Ethanol 20 47 27 201.31 200.62 0.69 Ethanol 21 50 29 200.62 199.85 0.77 Ethanol 22 40 18 187.34 186.40 0.94 Propan-1-ol 26 49 23 195.93 194.78 1.15 Propan-1-ol 23 54 31 194.78 194.05 0.73 Propan-1-ol 21 52 31 194.05 193.31 0.74 Buthan-1-ol 22 74 52 217.31 215.80 1.51 Buthan-1-ol 21 75 54 215.80 214.06 1.74 Buthan-1-ol 24 84 60 214.06 212.34 1.72 Pentan-1-ol 24 49 25 191.30 190.78 0.52 Pentan-1-ol 23 47 24 190.78 190.27 0.51 Pentan-1-ol 21 45 24 190.37 189.73 0.64 Hexan-1-ol 18 85 67 228.09 225.34 2.75 Hexan-1-ol 20 82 62 225.34 223.28 2.06 Hexan-1-ol 22 84 62 223.38 220.59 2.79 Heptan-1-ol 23 80 57 217.53 216.06 1.47 Heptan-1-ol 21 75 54 216.06 214.53 1.53 Heptan-1-ol 22 41 19 212.22 211.58 0.64 Octan-1-ol 21 54 33 228.88 227.83 1.05 Octan-1-ol 21 60 39 227.83 226.65 1.18 Octan-1-ol 21 58 37 226.65 225.35 1.30 I kept the distance from the flame, the water volume and the time constant. The distance from the flame was 3cm, the water volume was 100ml and the time was 2 minutes. Averages: I have made averages of my results. This will make sure anomalies in some results are less noticeable and will help summarize my results so I can draw graphs. ...read more.


The rest were miles off and even if you look just at my table and not compare it with the real results you can see it is wrong. Some reasons for anomalies are because energy is lost between the wick and the bottom of the calorimeter and that there was a varying length of wick. Anomalous results are due to a variety of factors and could not be cut out without a new experiment design. Results As Evidence Of Conclusion: The results I gathered do not reflect my conclusion because as I have stated in my conclusion I am basing it on scientific theory and not on my results. If had made it from my results then I would have a conclusion that does not make sense and is obviously wrong. My results do not affect my conclusion at all. As shown in my graphs there is no relationship between any of my results so I disregarded them. Improved Method: From the internet: The 1425 Semimicro Calorimeter is a compact and easily operated, static jacket, combustion calorimeter designed specifically for measuring the heat of combustion of small samples when only limited amounts of test material are available. The need for semimicro operation frequently arises in marine biology and other ecological studies where sample sizes are limited, also for testing heat powders and pyrotechnic mixtures. Samples that contain their own oxidizers can be burned in an inert atmosphere while others can be burned in oxygen. However, the 1425 Calorimeter must not be used for self-oxidizing samples if the reaction liberates considerable gas, due to the dangerous pressures that might develop in the bomb. A bomb calorimeter similar to this could be used to improve the accuracy of my experiment and would provide hopefully better results. ...read more.

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