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The aim of this experiment is to find out how much energy is released when burning different types of alcohol. I am attempting to discover whether the amount of carbon atoms an alcohol contains affects the amount of energy given off through combustion.

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Introduction

Comparing energy release in the burning of Alcohols Jonathan Turner Aim The aim of this experiment is to find out how much energy is released when burning different types of alcohol. I am attempting to discover whether the amount of carbon atoms an alcohol contains affects the amount of energy given off through combustion. Prediction and Research To help me make an accurate prediction, I have conducted some research, using textbooks to research topics that will help me with this experiment. When chemicals are mixed, a reaction may occur to produce new substances. We can show this in a number of ways: - REACTANTS PRODUCTS A+B C+D A reaction may have taken place if there are signs such as: - * Colour changes * Gas bubbles * Reactants disappearing * Solids appearing * Changes in pH levels Whenever a chemical reaction occurs, the energy levels change as reactants are converted to products. This energy can be in several forms: - Thermal, Kinetic, Light or Sound energy. During any chemical reaction, the bonds within the reactions must break. ...read more.

Middle

Apparatus To conduct this experiment, I shall use several pieces of apparatus: - * A Clamp Stand * 6 Test tubes * A Measuring Cylinder * A Thermometer * 6 Spirit Burners: - 1 Butanol, 1 Pentanol, 1 Propanol, 1 Ethanol and 1 Methanol. Fair test To be sure that I am conducting a fair experiment, I am taking several precautions:- * I shall be very accurate in making sure that I only heat the water for the allocated time of 90 seconds. * I'll be extremely accurate when measuring out 20ml of water into my test tube. * I will make sure that the starting temperature of the water is measured accurately. * To make sure that no anomalous results are encountered I shall do the experiment twice. Safety Precautions I shall be very safety conscious whilst conducting this experiment. I shall: - * Wear goggles to protect my eyes. * Use a gauze to protect the desk. * Utilise a pair of tongues so that I don't burn my hands when trying to pick up the test tube. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that the amounts and temperatures I chose were suitable and if I were to perform the experiment again I would use these again. I feel that my results are reliable as I performed the experiment twice. Overall, I feel that my experiment went well and I have learnt a lot. Evaluation I am sure that my results are reliable as I conducted the experiment twice and got the same trends in my results both times. I encountered some odd results as Butanol gave off more energy than I expected, however, this occurred in both experiments and so I don't think that it was a 'fluke'. If I were to do this experiment again I would possibly take more readings as I feel that this may improve accuracy. Also, I would consider changing the amount of time that I heat up my water as this would provide me with more interesting results. The fact that my prediction was incorrect shocked me as I had conducted, I feel, plenty of research that helped me to make a prediction. However, I do feel that my experiment went well overall and I think that my results show this. ...read more.

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