Advantages And Disadvantages Of Coffee Cup Calorimeters

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Project 1: Calorimetry

Calorimetry is a method of measuring the enthalpy (heat energy gained or released) of various state changes, such as chemical reactions. Calorimetry can also be used in a number of other ways, however, including in microbiology (where the presence of various microorganisms can be determined as their multiplication increases thermal power) and in environmental science (where a calorimeter can be used to determine insect metabolism as it varies based on changes in such factors as temperature and chemical treatments)1.
There are numerous kinds of calorimeters, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, such as those that maintain a constant pressure
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The objective for the first week of the experiment was to construct a coffee cup calorimeter and determine its heat capacity through the mixing of water of two different temperatures inside the calorimeter.
In the second week of the experiment, we performed three trials of acid-base reactions in each calorimeter (coffee cup and commercial) in order to compare the resulting enthalpy values to the theoretical ones and eventually determine which kind is more efficient and accurate.
Part 1 Methods
Cardboard and two Styrofoam cups were obtained. A circle of cardboard big enough to fit snugly just under the rim of a cup was cut out and placed slightly below the rim of one cup. The cup with the cardboard lid was stacked inside the other cup. A hole in which the thermometer could fit snugly was poked into the cardboard lid, and aluminum foil with a hole of the same size was placed over the cups to provide extra insulation. The commercial calorimeter provided for the experiment and two thermometers were also

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