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Chemistry Coursework – Fuels Essay

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Chemistry coursework – Fuels

Planning
========

Aim
---

In this investigation I will have to find out which of the alcohol
fuels: methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol, is the best. The
‘best’ one will be the one which creates the most energy whilst
burning.

Introduction and prediction
---------------------------

A fuel is a substance burned for heat or power. The best type of fuel
is one that: can be transported safely without the worry of it
catching on fire, gives out a lot of heat for a certain mass, does not
cost very much, lights quickly, burns slowly, is safe to use and does
not give off any form of polluting gases.

When burning alcohols, as I am going to do in this investigation, the
reaction is exothermic as heat is given out. Breaking the bonds of the
original alcohol by burning requires energy-it is endothermic, making
the bonds of the new products of burning the alcohol ie carbon dioxide
and water gives out energy-it is exothermic.

I predict that Butanol will require the most energy as it has the most
bonds holding the carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms together. Propanol
will require the second largest amount of energy, Ethanol the third
and Methanol the least amount of energy to break these bonds.

Methanol CH3OH
Ethanol C2H5OH
Propanol C3H7OH
Butanol C4H9OH
Pentanol C5H10OH

Therefore I predict that Methanol will be the ‘best’ fuel, followed by
Ethanol, then Propanol and the worst fuel will be Buta...


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