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Investigate the amount of energy released when different fuels burn

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In this investigation I will be burning alcohol 's to heat up a can of water. I will be burning four alcohol 's, methanol, ethanol, propanol and butanol. The aim is to find out how much energy is produced when burning these alcohols. Alcohol 's react with oxygen in the air to form water and carbon dioxide.

The reaction that is involved in burning alcohols is exothermic because heat is given out. From this reason the reactant energy is higher than that of the product.

The energy is given out when forming the bonds between the new water and carbon dioxide molecules. The amount of energy produced by such exothermic reactions can be calculated by using the formula Mass of the substance x rise in temp x SHC (specific heat capacity). The
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10

Propanol

3

5670

9

Ethanol

2

5040

8

Methanol

1

3150

5

Energy produced per gram = Energy evolved

Mass of alcohol

Methanol

3150 / 0.5

= 6300 kj x 32g

= 201.6 per mole/kj

Ethanol

5040 / 0.5

= 10 080 kj x 46g

= 463.680 per mole/kj

Propanol

5670 / 0.5

= 11 340 kj x 60g

= 680.4 per mole/kj

Butanol

6300 / 0.5

= 12 600 kj x 74g

= 932.4 per mole/kj

Energy produced per mole

Alcohol

Energy per mole/kj

Butanol

932.4

Propanol

680.4

Ethanol

463.7

Methanol

201.6
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