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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 21 (2016) pp 27-31

Green Improvement for Measuring the Heat of Combustion in Undergraduate Experiments

Tao Yang,Jian-Xin Mao,Wen-Jun Fang,Chao Shang,Ying-Chun Liu*,†

Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, P. R. China,;The Affiliated High School to Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310030, P. R. China
Received October 5, 2015. Accepted January 9, 2016.

Published: 18 January 2016

Abstract. Green chemistry has become a mainstream practice in conducting of chemical experiments in undergraduate classes. The heat of combustion of alcohol homologues was measured as a substitute to naphthalene in a chemical experiment that taught how the experimental environment could be improved. A calorimeter was developed with a non-paper recording instrument and a silica pan, which ensured environment-friendly and successful ignition. n-Octadecyl alcohol was used to replace naphthalene, and student experimental data indicated that the teaching effect of the experiments was improved. A correlation equation was then proposed based on the heat of combustion of a series of solid alcohols. Correlation results of this equation exhibit good agreement with the values of solid alcohols in the literature. Using n-octadecyl alcohol decreases experiment cost, effectively complements the experimental data of heat of combustion, and applies green chemistry because pollution is not generated. Consequently, implementing a green method to measure heat of combustion enhances student awareness on environmental protection and improves the teaching of the experiment.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; heat of combustion measurements; green improvement; correlation equation; octadecanol

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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