# The combustion of Alcohols investgation: Investigate the heat energy in a range of alcohol's used as fuels.

Essay by applepie_13q May 2004

Combustion of Alcohols

THE COMBUSTION OF ALCOHOLS

PROBLEM

Investigate the heat energy in a range of alcohol's used as fuels.

HYPOTHESIS

I predict that octanol will release the most heat energy. This is because there is more bond energy in that molecule than the other alcohols.

Within a molecule there are bond energies that are holding the atoms together. When the fuel combusts a chemical reaction takes place, this breaks the bonds, this requires energy, and makes new bonds this gives out energy. The energy differences between the two tell us how much energy was given out or taken in. We can show this on a graph.

ENERGY CHANGES DURING A REACTION

To find the bond energies in the molecule of the alcohol we have to look at the how much energy is in the separate bonds of the molecule. Below we have a table of bond energies.

Bond Bond Energy (kj/mol)

C - OH 402

C - H 435

C - C 347

H - O 464

C = O 805

If we draw out the structure of each molecule involved in the chemical reaction we can easily find out how much energy is in that molecule.

STRUCTURE OF THE MOLECULES INVOLVED

METHANOL

ETHANOL

PROPANOL

BUTANOL

PENTANOL

HEXANOL

HEPTANOL

OCTANOL

CARBON DIOXIDE

WATER

BALANCED EQUATIONS

If we work in the bond energies into these balanced equations, and we subtract the energy taken in by the breaking of the bonds from the energy given out by the formation of new bonds we will get the total energy released.

METHANOL

2CH3OH + 3O2(r) 2C02 + 4H20

ETHANOL

2C2H5OH + 6O2(r) 4C02 + 6H20

PROPANOL

2C3H5OH + 9O2(r) 6C02 + 8H20

BUTANOL

2C4H7OH + 12O2(r) 8C02 + 10H20

PENTANOL

2C5H9OH + 15O2(r) 10C02 + 12H20

HEXANOL

2C6H11OH + 18O2(r) 12C02 + 14H20...