Investigating Factors Affecting the Heat of Combustion of Alcohols

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Investigating Factors Affecting the Heat of Combustion of Alcohols

PLANNING SECTION

Introduction

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Alcohols are organic substances, and consist of Hydrogen, Oxygen and

Carbon. All alcohols are toxic but the amount that can be tolerated by

the human body varies for different alcohols. For example drinking

small amounts of Methanol can lead to blindness and even death.

Ethanol is the only alcohol that can be drunk safely and is found in

all alcoholic drinks. Throughout this investigation I am going to

investigate to different factors that affect the breakdown of an

alcohol.

[IMAGE]e.g. Methane (HCO) + Oxygen (O2) Carbon dioxide (CO2) + Water

(H2O)

Aim

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I am going to investigate increasing the chain length and see what

effect there is on the heat of combustion.

Preliminary Work

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The point of preliminary work is to find out what things that I should

vary and keep constant. For my preliminary work I used computer

software called Focus Science Investigation 2. This software enables

you to simulate experiments. This means that I am able to quickly

carry out experiments to help in planning for my investigation.

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Alcohol

Temperature Increase (oC)

Mass of burner before exp. (g)

Mass of burner after

exp. (g)

Change in mass (g)

Methanol

20

170.00

167.08

2.92

Ethanol

20

170.00

167.77

2.23

Propan-1-ol

20

170.00

168.03

1.97

Butan-1-ol

20

170.00

168.16

1.84

Pentan-1-ol

20

170.00

168.24

1.76

Having found these results I then worked out the combustion per mole

of alcohol.

Alcohol

Mass of water heated (g)

Heat evolved during reaction (J)

Change in mass of burner

(g)

Combustion of one mole of alcohol (kJ/mole)
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