Combustion Lab Report

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Combustion Lab
Lukas Worcester

The concepts of hydrocarbons, combustion, specific heat capacity, and endothermic reactions must be understood by the students to complete the lab. Carbon and hydrogen molecules are what actually make up hydrocarbons structure. Hydrocarbons are typically utilized in fuels and lubricants, as well as raw materials such as plastic, rubber, and other materials. The reaction between a hydrocarbon and oxygen is a process called combustion, which creates carbon dioxide and water. A combustion reaction is defined as an exothermic reaction, a reaction putting off heat instead of taking in heat. Combustion’s main purpose is to create an oxidized material. Each and every substance on
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Modernized homes across the planet generally utilize paraffin wax as an alternate source of light in case the power goes out. Understanding the heat of combustion of a lit candle will allow people the knowledge of how effective a candle really is. This lab on the heat of combustion of paraffin wax tests students on their ability to use the previously mentioned ideas and concepts as well as their understanding of calorimetry. The students will calculate the efficiency of a paraffin wax candle and a material of choice by determining the heat of combustion.
Fully understanding calorimetry is a very important skill to have whilst analyzing fuels. Calorimetry can be defined as the process of measuring how much heat is released or absorbed in a chemical reaction. The students will be dealing with an endothermic reaction, a reaction taking in heat rather then letting off heat. Calorimetry will be useful when analyzing fuels because the students will be able to collect data on however much heat is being released into the environment after the fuel is burnt.
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The heat of combustion for paraffin is actually -44.29 kj/g, in regards to the official class equations. The difference between the values is about 16.5 kj.g. The two values are substantially different because of several factors involved in the lab. The loss of heat into the external environment outside the can and the lab area. We tried to minimize the effect of the heat loss by using chilled water instead of room temperature, although not much correction was done. Also, incomplete combustion (carbon monoxide and carbon are made instead of carbon dioxide) was a severe hindrance to the lab. The lack of lab resources and a changing environment were the main limitations to finding accurate values during the combustion
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