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What is the best Fuel?

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Introduction

Carly Ridout Chemistry Coursework: What is the best Fuel? In this experiment I am going to be investigating what the best fuel is. I will be doing this by burning four different alcohols' underneath a copper can of water. I will be measuring the temperature as I heat up the water. Firstly, I needed to do some preliminary research to find out if it would be best to leave the fuels burning for 3 minutes, 4 minutes or 5 minutes. My preliminary research showed me that leaving the fuels burning for 5 minutes would produce better results because 3 minutes and 4 minutes would not give me sufficient results. For this experiment, I needed to weigh the fuel that I was working on at that time, before I did anything else. I then needed to measure 100 millilitres of tap water into a copper can. I then took the temperature of the water in the copper can. ...read more.

Middle

Another way of keeping it a fair test is by waiting for the copper can to cool down between each experiment and by getting fresh tap water each time. Also, I will be making sure that each fuel only burns for five minutes exactly and leaving the thermometer in the water until it has risen fully to its highest temperature before recording anything down. Diagram of the apparatus On next page Some safety procedures that you should follow to ensure your safety are: * Always wear safety goggles * Wash your hands before lighting anything if you spill any fuel on you hands * Do the experiment on a clean and clear work surface * Wait for the copper can to cool down before picking it up because it could be hot I predict that Butanol will be the best fuel, because when Butanol is burnt, there are a lot more bonds being formed than are being broken. ...read more.

Conclusion

This prediction was correct. I can tell this because Butanol gave off the most heat when the bonds were being formed. Lots of bonds were being made during the experiment as Carbon Dioxide and water was being formed. This releases energy. C4H9OH + 6O2 � 4CO2 + 5H2O Evaluation My results were very accurate because they all follow the trend that the weight loss growing would make the temperature rise fall. My results also fit into a straight-line graph and I have one odd result for the temperature I measured before. It was higher at 27.3�C than the others at 21.9�C. Luckily this did not affect my averages on the graph I made. This could have happened because I did not let the copper can cool down properly before I repeated the experiment. If I did the experiment again I would be 100% accurate in the space between the copper can and the fuel pot. I would also make sure I left the copper can to cool down properly before repeating the experiment again. Carly Ridout ...read more.

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