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Comparison of the different amounts of energy released by different alcohols

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Title: Comparison of the different amounts of energy released by different alcohols. Research Question: To determine which alcohol among methanol, ethanol and butanol produces the most heat energy per gram and per mole. Background Information: The combustion of alcohols in air occurs very easily. Methanol for example burns with a blue flame. Alcohols burn in air to give carbon dioxide and water. A large amount of heat is also generated during this chemical reaction. In fact spirit lamps in laboratories are examples of burning of alcohol (Source: http://home.att.net/~cat6a/org_chem-VII.htm). Hypothesis: The most heat energy will be given out by butanol. The reason for this is that it has many more bonds to be broken and formed than methanol and ethanol. Energy is required to break bonds and energy is given out to make bonds. Since butanol has many more bonds to be broken, it also has many more bonds to be formed. The combustion on any alcohol is exothermic whereby the energy released due to the formation of bonds is higher than the energy absorbed to break the bonds. In case of butanol, there are more bonds broken, hence the difference between the energy required to break the bonds is far less than the energy given out to form new bonds. ...read more.


�0.5�C 10 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 20 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 30 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 40 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 50 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 60 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 241.13 240.68 30 30 31 33 38 44 51 57 240.68 240.07 30 29 28 32 35 40 45 50 240.07 239.35 30 28 29 31 36 41 47 53 Butanol Mass before burning (g) ?0.005g Mass after burning (g) �0.005g Volume of water (cm3) ?0.05cm3 Initial Temperature (�C) �0.5�C 10 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 20 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 30 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 40 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 50 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 60 seconds (�C) �0.5�C 247.78 246.91 30 27 30 35 41 50 59 62 246.91 245.47 30 27 28 33 40 48 57 65 245.47 244.70 30 28 29 34 39 46 54 62 Data Processing and Presentation: Methanol Mass used in burning (g) �0.01g Mass of water (g) Change in temperature (�C) �1�C Energy released (kJ) Energy released per gram (kJ/g) Number of moles Energy released per mole (kJ/mol) 1.09 30 22 2772 2.77 0.034 81379.82 0.36 30 19 2394 2.39 0.011 212800.00 0.39 30 22 2772 2.77 0.012 227446.15 In order to calculate the energy released we use the following formula: Energy = Mass of water (kg) ...read more.


It releases 4.49 kJ/g as compared to 2.65kJ/g released by methanol and 3.07 kJ/g released by ethanol. Butanol also releases more energy per mole when compared to methanol and ethanol. Butanol releases 344288 kJ/mol as compared to 173875 kJ/mol released by methanol and 249515 kJ/mol released by ethanol. This is as a result of butanol having more bonds that are broken and formed as compared to the other two types of alcohols. Hence its enthalpy of combustion is higher than methanol and ethanol, resulting into more energy being released during combustion. Evaluation: There were a few errors that could be avoided next time. All of the heat was not received by the beaker. Some of it was lost to the environment. In order to avoid this, there should be proper insulation so that all the heat is received by the beaker or there could be the usage of a calorimeter. Heat was also lost from the edges of the beaker, therefore a beaker that is a better conductor of heat should be used to minimize this effect. Sometimes there was some incomplete combustion and the flame was yellow and not blue because of the lack of oxygen. To avoid this, we should make sure that there is a proper supply of oxygen in the room with proper ventilation. ?? ?? ?? ?? 15th May 2007 Page 1 of 8 ...read more.

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