Return to Lab Menu. Heats of Combustion. small aluminum pie tin modeling clay or Playdoh. measuring cup fireplace matches or lighter

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1 Return to Lab Menu Heats of Combustion Objectives: -to use a burning nut to heat a sample of water -to use the heat capacity and temperature of a sample of water to determine the caloric content of different types of nuts -to compare experimentally derived caloric content with label information Equipment/Materials two or more types of nuts 1 small aluminum pie tin modeling clay or Playdoh water empty soda can measuring cup fireplace matches or lighter scale (your trusty balance) pin or needle (2-3 inches long) tongs thermometer (that can measure temperatures between C, F) Introduction Nutritional labels on the foods we eat provide a great deal of information. One piece of information included is the caloric content of foods. We all know that fattening foods contain greater amounts of calories than healthier alternatives, such as fruits and vegetables. You also probably know that if you eat more calories than you expend in metabolic processes and exercise, you will gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, you will lose weight. However, if you look at the scientific definition of a calorie, you will see it defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of g of water from 14.5 C to 15.5 C. What does this have to do with food? To understand this we must look at heat and energy from the perspective of a chemical reaction. When chemical bonds break and re-form in a chemical reaction, energy is often absorbed or released. A good example is photosynthesis. Green plants use energy from the sun and process this energy through a molecule called chlorophyll to convert water and carbon dioxide into glucose (sugar) and oxygen. The overall reaction can be written as: 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + energy from sunlight C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 carbon dioxide water glucose oxygen The plant then metabolizes glucose and recoups that energy, using it for various metabolic processes like growth, transpiration, reproduction, etc. The reaction for the metabolism of glucose is ultimately just the reverse of photosynthesis: 1 We have had good luck with peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, and pecans. 1

2 C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + energy for metabolism (heat) Interestingly, the overall energy associated with a chemical reaction is the same, whether the reaction occurs stepwise at low temperature inside a living cell or rapidly at high temperature inside a furnace. In this case, the oxidation of glucose that occurs inside the cell through with the regulation of various enzymes is nothing more than the combustion of glucose. So the energy released gradually inside the cell is overall the same energy that would be released if you simply burned glucose. In the cell it is just released in small manageable increments. So what does all this have to do with the calories? Well let s think about how we measure and use heat. Let s look at what occurs when you turn on the burner underneath a pot of water on your stove. Assuming that you have a gas range, you are burning methane (CH 4 ) to produce carbon dioxide and water. Just like the metabolism of glucose, this reaction gives off heat: CH 4 + 2O 2 CO 2 + 2H 2 O + heat The heat released by this reaction is absorbed by the pot and the water it contains. As the pot/water combination absorbs this heat, the temperature rises. The greater the amount of water, the more heat is required to raise it to a certain temperature. So a simple way to measure the heat used and released by different chemical reactions is to connect it to the change in temperature of a particular substance, like water. This is how a calorie is defined. As mentioned above, it is the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of water 1 C. We talk about consuming calories, but how can we eat heat? As we digest and metabolize the food that we eat, bonds are broken and re-formed. These processes release heat that your body can use to fuel other processes that require heat. The energy derived from food is described by its caloric content. However, it is important to note the difference between the calorie and the Calorie with an uppercase C. The calorie is defined above (the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of water 1 C). The Calorie is equal to 1000 calories with little c s. Another way to state this is that a Calorie is in reality a kilocalorie or kcal. So when you heat a bagel that contains 280 Calories (280 kcal), in reality it provides 280,000 calories of energy, enough to raise the temperature of 280 kg of water 1 C! In this experiment, you will be relating the caloric content of foods, specifically nuts, to the energy required to heat water. The experiment requires a flame, so you should exercise caution. You will use the heat capacity of water in calories and its temperature change to determine the caloric content. The equation you ll use is: heat (cal) = C water x T 2

3 where C water is the heat capacity of water in calories: C water = (1.0 cal/g) x (mass of water in grams) T is the change in temperature = T final T intial in C We will assume the density of water is ~1 g/ml, thus 100 ml of water 100 g of water. You will also need to determine the caloric content given on the label for comparison to your experimentally derived number. Remember the calories given are actually kilocalories. Also serving sizes may be given in ounces so you may need the following conversion factor: g = 1 ounce If your thermometer is Fahrenheit-based rather than C, you ll also need this conversion factor: C = 9 5 ( F 32 ) Procedure Use a can opener to remove the top of the soda can. Measure 100 ml of water and place it into the soda can. Determine and record the mass of the nut. If the mass is greater than 2 3 g, you will need to choose a smaller nut or break off a smaller piece to use in the experiment. A nut or piece of nut 1 g or less will work just fine. Place the nut firmly onto the end of the pin or needle. Wrap the other end of the pin or needle with a clay cone (see figure) and secure it to the bottom of the pie tin. Measure and record the initial temperature of the water. Ignite the nut with one of the fireplace matches or the lighter. It may take repeated efforts to get it lit, so you will want to avoid using smaller ordinary matches. Once lit, use tongs to hold the soda can (filled with water) over the flame. With your other hand, place the thermometer into the water and note the temperature rise inside the can. Continue heating the water with the burning nut and paying attention to the rising temperature. When the temperature stops rising and/or the nut extinguishes, record the final highest temperature. Repeat this process with another of the same kind or a different kind of nut. You should do two trials per type of nut and examine at least two different kinds of nuts. Start each trial with a fresh sample of cold water. You are also welcome to explore other nut-like foods, e.g. Wheat Nuts. 3

4 thermometer tongs soda can with lid removed 100 ml water nut pin or needle modeling clay or Playdoh Experimental set up 4

5 Data sheet Name 1. First convert all your temperature readings from Fahrenheit to Celsius if applicable. 2. Enter your data into the table below. Type of nut Mass of nut (g) Initial temperature ( C) Final temperature ( C) T T= T final T initial Experimental caloric content (see below) Label-derived caloric content (see below) 5

6 To determine the experimental caloric content, multiply the mass of the water by the change in temperature, T: heat (cal) = (1.0 cal/g) x (mass of water in grams) x T To determine the label-derived caloric content, you must determine the number of calories in the small sample of nut you actually used in each trial. To do this, use the label to determine the kcal/oz and convert that to kcal/g. Then multiply by the number of grams in each sample in your various trials. For example from the label below from a jar of almonds, you can see that in a 1.0 oz serving, there are 170 Calories, or 170 kcal. Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 ounce (30 g) Servings Per Container 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 170 Calories from Fat 140 % Daily Value * Total Fat 15 g 23 % Saturated Fat 1 g 5 % Polyunsaturated Fat 4 g Monounsaturated Fat 10 g 0 % Cholesterol 0 mg 0 % Sodium Total Carbohydrate 5 g 2 % Dietary Fiber 4 g 8 % Sugars 1 g Protein 6 g Vitamin A 0 % Vitamin C 0 % Calcium 8 % Iron 6 % Vitamin E 35 % Folate 4 % Magnesium 22 % Phosphorous 14 % *Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Using our ounce to gram conversion, g = 1 ounce, we can set up the following ratio: 170 kcal? kcal = g 1.0 g to determine that there are about 6.0 kcal/g. If in our trial we used a piece of almond with a mass of 1.2 g, the label derived caloric content would be: (6.0 kcal/g) x 1.2 g = 7.2 kcal. Don t forget about the Calorie/calorie discrepancy. Labels provide information about Calories, which are in reality kcal, where 1000 cal = 1 kcal. The measurements and calculations you ll make in this experiment will provide you numbers of calories with a little c. Answer the following questions: 3. How do the caloric content values that you determined experimentally compare with those reported on the labels of the different kinds of nuts? 4. The heat transfer from the combustion of the nut to the increase in temperature of the water was not perfect. List all the places where heat could be lost in this process. How could you design an experimental apparatus that would minimize the loss of heat to the surroundings. 6

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