Determination of the Calorific Value of Ethanol and Paraffin

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Determination of the Calorific Value of Fuels
To quantify the amount of energy produced by different fuels and to determine which fuel is more efficient (has a higher calorific value).
The easiest way to achieve our aim is by heating a substance with a known specific heat capacity and using the energy released from burning our fuels. This will give us the value of the heat energy released by the combustion of our two fuels.
The chemical reaction for combustion:
FUEL + O2 Heat energy released CO2 + H2O
It is the heat energy released that we are concerned with, the amount released in this reaction will provide us with the calorific value for each fuel.
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* Testing potential new fuels – Oil companies looking for new fuel sources are interested only in efficient fuels now for three reasons 1. The more efficient the fuel the less we will use and the longer it will last. 2. The more energy we can get from only a small amount the higher the value of the fuel. 3. If you use less fuel less combustion occurs and so less toxins and carnbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
Diet/Energy Intake * Calories in food – the food industry is a huge worldwide industry and is part of everybody’s life. For all those people wanting to lose weight they are looking for a large amount with a low calorific value, however athletes will be looking for small amounts of food with a high calorific value. It is a vital piece of information on the dieting and exercise industries.

From the theoretical results and my experimental results I have concluded that the candle (paraffin wax) is the more efficient fuel source because it required a smaller amount of mass to provide the same amount of energy as the
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