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Viscosity of Alkanes

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Viscosity of Alkanes: Pentane (C5H12): H H H H H | | | | | H - C - C - C - C - C - H | | | | | H H H H H Hexane (C6H14): H H H H H H | | | | | | H - C- C - C - C - C - C - H | | | | | | H H H H H H Octane (C8H18): H H H H H H H H | | | | | | | | H - C- C - C - C - C - C - C - C - H | | | | | | | | H H H H H H H H Decane (C10H22): H H H H H H H H H H | | | | | | | | | | H - C- C - C - C - C - C - C - C - C - C - H | | | | | | | | | | H H H H H H H H H H Aim I am going to investigate the viscosity of the alkanes listed above: pentane, hexane, octane and decane. ...read more.


> The height of the slide must remain the same during every drop. > Each drop should have the same amount of liquid. Safety > Alkanes should be kept away from naked flames > Safety goggles should be worn so no chemicals get in the eyes. > Any spillages should be cleared up at once > Must have good ventilation > People with long hair should tie it back. Prediction I predict that pentane will have the lowest viscosity followed by the hexane, then octane and then decane. I also predict that pentane will be half as viscose as decane. Reasons for my prediction Viscosity is a liquids resistance to flow. The longer the chains, the more force there will be between the carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms so the more tangled the chains will get. So the longer the chain is, the more viscous the alkane is and the slower the alkane will flow. So Decane will be the most viscous, then octane, then hexane then pentane because Decane has the longest chain, then octane, then hexane and then pentane. So Pentane will be the quickest Alkane to run down the slide and Decane will be the slowest. ...read more.


and a machine to time, so it stops at the exact point where the alkane gets to the bottom of the slide and to make sure the same equipment is used if the experiment over runs and to make sure the plasticine is at room temperature. I could also use an Automatic Data Logger to log the position and speed at certain intervals whilst the Alkane is flowing down the slide. A logging interval of 0.1 seconds or 10ms would be sufficient to accurately measure the speed of the alkane. Data Logging is more accurate than humans, and can take measurements in which humans cannot survive. Improvements to this experiment could be droppers with narrower funnels to contain the liquids better, fresh microscope slides after each repetition and a proper water bath or fridge to keep the alkanes at a set temperature. A viscometer could also be used. The alkane could be placed in a tube, a grain of rice would then be placed in the top and it could be timed from start to finish with greater ease and would be far easier to see. My results helped me to draw to a scientific conclusion by showing that the longer the chain is the slower the alkane went. ...read more.

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3 star(s)

The preliminary experiment was limited and the laboratory report lacked some structure and background research. However, the second experiment was much improved and gave usable results that a conclusion could be drawn from. The experiment was evaluated with some improvements suggested. Anomalous results were identified and re-investigated although not specifically highlighted. This is a 3* piece of GCSE work.

Marked by teacher Cornelia Bruce 17/03/2013

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