Essay on Chemistry Coursework – Fuels

950 Words 4 Pages
Chemistry coursework – Fuels



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
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* Measure 50ml of water into the beaker.
* Put beaker into the clamp.
* Fill the spirit burner with the chosen alcohol.
* Put the spirit burner five centimeters under the beaker.
* Light the wick on the spirit burner
* Make sure the flame is touching the beaker.
* Wait until the temperature has risen to 40 degrees C.
* Record these results.

Fair test

Apparatus: if I changed the quantity of water in the beaker each time the results would change because with more water it would be harder to heat and with less water it would heat more quickly. If I changed the beaker the results would differ because one beaker may be thicker than the other so the heat would not be able to reach the water as well. If
I used different amount of alcohol each time the results would be different. Techniques:

Procedure: If I changed the time that I left the spirit burner burning for then the results would differ because if I left it for longer then the end temperature would be higher and if I shortened the time the end temperature would be lower.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Analysing Butanol Pentanol Propanol Ethanol Methanol

Weight before (g) 188.06 196.57

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