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To investigate the heat outputs of fuels

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Introduction

To investigate the heat outputs of fuels Obtaining Method) Some preliminary work was carried out to confirm reliability of the test, where we burned ethanol-covered rocksil wool under a conical flask of increasing volumes of water. This test was carried out in much the same way. Equipment was set up as in diagram. The temperature of the water was recorded. We squeezed some droplets of Ethanol with a pipette onto the rocksil wool, and placed the wool into a crucible. The crucible was weighed before and after the ethanol had been added (this measurement included the rocksil wool), and placed under the conical flask (which contained 250cm3 of water). The wool was lit and the highest (or lowest) temperature reached was recorded. The experiment was then repeated using Methanol and Propanol on the rocksil wool. Each alcohol was done twice. Safety goggles were worn throughout. Apparatus We were using: Three pipette-fulls of Methanol, Ethanol and Propanol Retort stand Clamp, Boss Thermometer Conical Flask Tap Water Crucible Three pieces of rocksil wool Lit Splint Fuel Mass of water (g) ...read more.

Middle

This vast difference between the two was probably caused by the loss of heat to the air in the four-centimetre gap between the crucible and the conical flask. Although there would have been heat loss to the air in the second test as well, there may have been objects present around the equipment after we did test one, or during test one there may have been an increase of activity around the equipment that didn't occur during the other tests (for example, people walking past, objects on the work surface being moved, etc.). If I was to do the test again, this is one thing I would try to avoid. I would also decrease the gap between the crucible and the conical flask if I were to do the test again, to reduce loss of heat to the air. Loss of heat could also be minimised by performing the test in a more enclosed area such as a fume cupboard. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rise in temp (oC) Heat given out in reaction (kJ) Heat given out per mole (kJ) There were very close similarities in the final mass of the fuels, perhaps due to their (H properties, and to the initial mass properties. There were also similarities in the mass of fuel burned each time, and this went down by a small amount for each fuel (due, I suspect, to the difference in quantity of fuel used each time). However, this similarity in mass of fuel burned each time does not affect the heat output equations, as that is affected by the temperature change. Proving my prediction that propanol would have the greatest heat output, the results (when displayed in a bar chart) escalate in order of methanol (the lowest heat output) to propanol (the highest). I also made predictions on the actual heat outputs of each fuel, and the obtained results (for ethanol and propanol, at least) proved to be quite a lot less than my predictions. To conclude my analysis, despite the inaccurate results caused by loss of heat to the air, propanol still proved to have the greatest heat output of the three fuels tested. ...read more.

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