Optimizing Ethanol's Heat Production

Table of Contents

Team information and abstract










Source of Error

Applications of Experiment

Further Research



Source of Error:

             There are various possible factors that might have affected the accuracy of this experiment. Firstly, the flame of the combustion was not always located in the same location and the tip of the flame was not fixed onto the breaker. As a result, the flame was constantly moving and different amount of energy might have been lost during the burn and thus it might have impaired the results of the observed temperature. Secondly, the measurement of the temperatures might not be accurate. Even though the temperature of the water in the beaker was always constant, the temperature of the apparatuses varies according to the amount of time needed to prepare the combustion after the last burn. This might have slightly impaired the measurement of the temperature as apparatus with a higher temperature would be more conductive than when they have a lower temperature, causing a change in the heat measured. Thirdly, even after the flame dies out, the temperature of the water keeps increasing due to heated apparatuses which also might have affected the actually heat resulted from the combustion reaction. Last but not least, even though human efforts were made to visibly observe the flame of the combustion, sometimes it is extremely difficult to detect the exact time when the flames die out as they gradually decrease their light and size. As a result, slight time measurement errors might have occurred and results might be impaired.