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Measuring the energy released by burning ethanol.

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Chemistry AT1 Measuring the energy released by burning ethanol Planning Aim: I want to find out how the amount of ethanol burning effects the temperature change of the water. In order to carry out this investigation I will try to heat up a can of water with different amounts of ethanol to find out how this affects the temperature of the water. I will use the equation for ?Hcombustion in order to work out the amount of heat given out when a mole of fuel burns. To work this out I need to use this equation: ?H= m x c x ?T Where m stands for mass of water, c for the specific heat capacity, which is 4.2 and ?T, is the change in temperature, which is initial temperature - final temperature. I might use the equation to find out the energy change in order to see how much energy change there is per gram of ethanol. Energy change/gram of ethanol = ?H/ mass of ethanol burnt. I will use the data book values for the ?Hcombustion of ethanol in order to compare it with my values to see how efficient my experiment was. The data book value of ?Hcombustion of ethanol is -1371kJ/mol. In order to find the efficiency I need to use this equation: % Of efficiency = Experimental value x100 Data book value I know that the burning of ethanol will increase the temperature since ethanol is a fuel therefore exothermic. ...read more.


To weigh the exact amount of ethanol I will press the "tare" button and wait until "0.00" comes up on the screen. I will add ethanol dropwise until I have the desired amount. 2) To set up I will fasten the ring clamp to the retort stand. I will fill the can with 200ml water using a measuring cylinder. I will insert the glass rod into the respective holes in the can and the insulating can so that the can holing the water is inside the can insulating. 3) I will record the initial temperature of the water. 4) I will light the ethanol with a match and stir the water as it is heated until the temperature no longer rises and record the temperature at it's maximum. 5) Repeat the experiment from step 3 with the same amount twice more so that the experiment should have been done 3 times. So as to maintain safety throughout the experiment I will ensure that easily flammable objects will not be anyway near the crucible during burning. I will make sure that when I pick up the crucible I will use tongs so that I don't burn my hands. I know that ethanol is highly flammable and so I will keep it away from any form of fire until I light it. I know that ethanol is also a very volatile substance and so it would be easy to inhale such a harmful substance, therefore I will not inhale great amounts of it. ...read more.


Since I repeated all the experiments three times I expect the results to have been quite accurate too. The only reason that my results would be inaccurate would be because of any heat loss. I think that my test was fair since I kept the conditions unchanged throughout and repeated the tests three times, which means that I can spot anomalies easily. This is what the experiment in perfect circumstance is: What I lacked in my experiment was insulation. It is for this reason that I think that my experiment may not have been all that accurate. In order to obtain more reliable results I could have insulated the apparatus with tin foil. In better-equipped conditions I would have burnt the ethanol in pure oxygen in order to obtain a perfect result. Some of the components may have interfered with the temperature that the ethanol gave out such as the soot that builds up on the bottom of the tin of water through incomplete combustion of the carbon dioxide in the air. I think that my evidence is enough to support my prediction but to be absolutely sure of the results I might, if I had the time and equipment, carry the experiment on till 'x' grams of ethanol produces 100� C temperature of water to ensure that the pattern or trends stay the same whatever the temperature, with the "perfect apparatus" to ensure ideal results. ...read more.

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