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Is there a link between the number of carbon atoms in a hydrocarbon and how viscous it is?

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Introduction

Emma Knightimage00.png

Chemistry coursework

Runny oil investigation

I am going to investigate is there is a link between the number of carbon atoms in a hydrocarbon and how viscous it is?

Apparatus

  • Alkane liquids in sealed glass tubes (50cm long)
  • Stands to hold the glass tubes up right
  • Steel ball bearings placed inside the glass tubes
  • Magnet
  • Stop watch
  • Tape

Safety apparatus

  • Stand to hold the glass tube in place to prevent accidents

Method

I will select an alkane (glass tube), any as I want to record data from each alkane possible. I will use a magnet to drag the steel ball bearing up to the top of the glass tube. I will pull the magnet away and allow the ball bearing to fall 50cm through the glass tube. So that each experiment is fair I will previously mark each glass tube with tape stating the beginning of the 50cms at the top and the end at the bottom of the glass tube. Straight after I have allowed the ball bearing to fall I will start to time and stop it when it reaches the end of the 50cm drop. For each alkane I will repeat the experiment at least five times is not more, to give me more accurate results and an accurate average.

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        Steel ball bearingimage23.pngimage07.png

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...read more.

Middle

v = 2/9(d1 - d2)gr2/

To work out the velocity in my investigation I will use the simple equation, however if I were to extend this I could explore stokes’ law and try taking results from other angles.

 Emma Knightimage00.png

Chemistry coursework

My results

Alkane

1st Test

2nd Test

3rd Test

4th Test

5th Test

Average

Range

Accurately

Average Velocity

Butane

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pentane

1.24

1.28

1.25

1.27

1.19

1.25

0.09

<  3.6%

0.4m/s

Hexane

1.31

1.29

1.35

1.29

1.24

1.3

0.09

<  4.2%

0.39m/s

Heptane

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Octane

1.77

2.03

2.07

2.11

2.03

2.02

0.34

<  7.5%

0.25m/s

Nonane

1.38

1.34

1.31

1.37

1.3

1.34

0.07

<  2.6%

0.37m/s

Decane

1.38

1.33

1.39

1.41

1.39

1.38

0.08

<  2.9%

0.36m/s

Dodecane

1.62

1.54

1.56

1.59

1.58

1.58

0.08

<  2.5%

0.32m/s

Hexadecane

1.59

1.59

1.62

1.6

1.62

1.6

0.03

<  0.9%

0.31m/s

Class results

Alkanes

Average 1

Range 1

Average 2

Range 2

Average 3

Range 3

Overall average

Butane

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Pentane

1.25

0.09

1.34

0.18

1.35

0.5

1.31

Hexane

1.3

0.09

1.37

0.09

1.7

0.36

1.46

Heptane

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Octane

2.02

0.34

2.16

0.06

2.2

0.44

2.13

Nonane

1.34

0.07

1.49

0.05

1.65

0.34

1.49

Decane

1.38

0.08

1.58

0.14

1.88

0.29

1.61

Dodecane

1.58

0.08

1.7

0.03

2.38

1.46

1.89

Hexadecane

1.6

0.03

1.75

0.07

2.06

0.35

1.8

From these results some stand out straight away to be anomalous, for example the Octane set of results. The results for

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Conclusion

Average velocity = distance moved in a certain direction / time taken

m/s =meters/seconds

As the ball bearing takes longer to fall through the same distance the velocity becomes slowly smaller.  Therefore my results showed this.

However, to improve or to extend my results I would have to take more tests for each experiment and maybe see how different angles affect the time and velocity. I could take more notice of the size and density of the sphere and the density and the viscosity of the liquid, which would allow me to use Stokes’ law to have more accurate results for the velocity of alkanes. Though to improve this investigation I could take a larger range of results repeating them ten times, which would give a stronger average. As well as changing the Octane I used.

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