The Chemical Educator
ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)
Abstract Volume 16
(2011) pp 310-313
Heat of Combustion and GC-MS of Regular, Regular-Plus and Premium Gasoline: An Undergraduate Experiment
Anne Gaquere-Parker*, Kelly Lawson, Michelle Logue, Kimberly Sutton, Courtney Richardson and Shavelle Gant
Department of Chemistry, University of West Georgia,
maple street, Carrollton, GA, 30118, email@example.com
Published: 9 December 2011
Abstract. Gasoline samples from three different gas stations and of different octane rates (regular, regular-plus and premium) were purchased, analyzed using GC-MS and combusted in a bomb calorimeter. In this experiment, junior physical chemistry students used a bomb calorimeter to calculate heats of combustion and become familiar with the theory associated with this technique. Students also obtained GC-MS spectra of the gasoline samples for which the conditions are provided here. The identification of eighteen major compounds most often found in gasoline, with octane as a reference, was achieved and the results are summarized in this paper. This experiment brings real-world into the teaching laboratory.
Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry laboratory; gasoline; bomb calorimeter; heat of combustion; gas chromatography; mass spectrometry
(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Supporting Materials:The gas chromatograms for all samples, the mass spectra for the identified molecules and a student handout are available as a pdf file (966 KB).