Troubleshooting Tips for Calorimetry LabsAugust 23, 2020 by Luca Yagan
In this guide, we are going to find out some of the possible causes that can lead to errors in a calorimetry lab, and then suggest possible solutions to this problem. The assumption that no heat loss occurs in the calorimetric experiment is a systematic error when using a polystyrene cup as a calorimeter. Thus, the measured value of heat release from water is always too low. If an acceptable value is available for an experimentally determined result, the percentage error can be calculated.
Energy Transfer Measurement
Energy can be released during chemical reactions in the form of light, sound or electrical energy. However, most often it is released as thermal energy. Thus, we can easily measure the amount of energy transferred.
The diagram on the right shows a very simple calorimetric experiment to measure the thermal energy released when fuel is burned.
Alcohol burner with fuel is usually weighed before and after the experiment. Thus, the mass of the burned fuel can be determined.
Heat loss and / or heat dissipation is minimized by using a cover to make the calorimeter as bright as possible and leave the equipment behind.
When comparing different fuels, it is important to conduct a thorough test. All variables must remain constant, including:
More reliable results can be obtained by repeating the experiment several times. The biggest source of calorimetry errors is usually loss of energy.Heat to the environment. This can be reduced by insulating the sides of the calorimeter and installing a cover.
Energy Transfer Calculation
The amount of energy transferred from the burning fuel to the calorimeter's water can be calculated if you know:
With a certain amount of heated water, the higher the temperature, the greater the amount of heat energy transferred to the water. For example, twice as much energy is transferred to water to raise the temperature by 20 ° C compared to 10 ° C.
You can compare fuels by measuring the mass of the fuel burned during the experiment. The best fuel probably produces the most energy per gram of fuel. This is fixed with:
Whether the reaction is endothermic or exothermic in general depends on the difference between the energy required to break bonds and the energy released when new bonds are formed.
Calculation Of The Transmitted Energy
It is useful to remember that 1 cm 3 of water has a mass of 1 g, and 1 m 3 of water has a mass of 1000 kg.
It is also useful to remember that 1 kilojoule, 1 kJ, is equal to 1000 J.the consumed energy is 8.4 kJ.
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