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# Lab Report &quot; Which fuel is the better source of energy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lab Report – Which fuel is the better source of energy?

Question: What happens to the temperature of the water when a different fuel is being used to heat it?

Aim: To find out which fuel is a better energy source by heating 100ml of water and recording the temperature of the water every 30 seconds.

Hypothesis: The greater the number of carbons in the fuel, the more energy will be released.

Variables:

MV – type of fuel (Methanol, Ethanol, Butanol, Pentanol)

RV – the temperature of the water

CV – amount of water (100ml), burning time (3 minutes), beaker, aluminum foil around beaker, digital scale, thermometer and stopwatch

Equipment:

• Safety mat
• Tripod
• Stop watch
• Digital scale
• Spirit burners (Methanol, Ethanol,

Butanol, Pentanol)

• Small beaker
• Big beaker
• Aluminum foil
• Gauze
• Tongs
• Thermometer
• Matches
• Long pieces of thin wood
• Safety goggles

Method:

Abstract: In this experiment we will boil 100ml of water for 3 minutes and record the temperature every 30 seconds.  This will test which fuel is a better source of energy.

Procedure:

• Firstly set up all the equipment, cover the big beaker with aluminum foil, place it onto the safety mat and put the tripod on top of it.  Fill the small beaker with 100ml of water and put the thermometer inside it.

• Measure the weight of all the spirit burners before burning them, also way just the crucible alone and then the lid alone.
• Place one of the spirit burners into the large beaker, light the match and then transfer the fire onto the long piece of thin wood and turn on the spirit burner.

• Then place the gauze on the top of the tripod and put the small beaker with the thermometer on the gauze.

• Allow the water to heat from the spirit burner for 3 minutes and record the temperature of the water every minute, record your results.

• When the 3 minutes are over, take the water off the gauze, blow out the flame from the spirit burner and using the tongs take the spirit burner out of the beaker and measure it on the digital scale, record the results.

• Repeat the steps above for all of the spirit burners.  After that put the results in a table and then graph them.

Middle

1.5

33

2.0

35

2.5

38

3.0

42

Original mass= 158.1g

Mass after burning = 154.6g

Q = m c ΔT

(Q = energy, m = mass, c = specific heat capacity, ΔT = change in temperature)

Energy = mass x specific heat capacity x change in temperature.

Energy = 100 x 4.2 x (change in temperature) = Joules

For the specific heat capacity of water it is 4.2 and not 4200 because grams are being used and not kilograms, so divide the 4200 by 1000.  For the 100 ml of water it is equal to 100 grams because the specific mass of water (= mass/volume) is 1 (1 litre = 1 kilogram).

Energy = Specific Heat Capacity x Mass x Change in Temperature

100 x 4.2 x (change in temperature in Kelvin) = Joules

100 x 4.2 x (20+273) = 123060 J

Energy (J)                = J/g

Change in mass (g)

123060J        = 35160 J/g

3.5

Butanol:

Starting temperature of the water = 296 K (23ºC).

Temperature change = 15 ºC = 288 K

 Time (minutes) Temperature (ºC) 0.5 24 1.0 25 1.5 30 2.0 32 2.5 35 3.0 38

Original mass = 162.2g

Mass after burning = 95.2g

Energy = Specific Heat Capacity x Mass x Change in Temperature

100 x 4.2 x (change in temperature in Kelvin) = Joules

100 x 4.2 x (288) = 120960 J

Energy (J)                = J/g

Change in mass (g)

120960J        = 1805.37 J/g

67

Pentanol:

Starting temperature of the water = 296 K (23ºC).

Temperature change = 8 ºC = 281 K

 Time (minutes) Temperature (ºC) 0.5 25 1.0 26 1.5 27 2.0 28 2.5 29 3.0 31

Conclusion

If I was to do this experiment again then I would measure the mass of the fuel that was inside each spirit burner instead of just pouring any amount of fuel into the spirit burner.  If there was a constant mass of each fuel then it would have made it a fair test.  Another thing that I would do to improve this experiment would be to take more then just one set of results in order to make sure that everything is accurate.

In conclusion I found out that a higher energy released per 1 gram means that the fuel is more efficient.  Even though Ethanol has the least amount of carbons it was able to rise the temperature of the water up to 42ºC, whereas Pentanol, which has the largest amount of carbons was only able to rise the temperature of the water to 31ºC.

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