Results and Discussion (Questions)

Table 1. Summary of data obtained from hexane and heptane IR spectra.

Absorption bands (cm
C-H bond C-C bond
Stretching Bending Stretching
Hexane 2950 – 2850 1470 – 1370 1300 – 800
Heptane 2950 – 2850 1470 – 1370 1300 – 800

As seen in the table above, both hexane and heptane have exactly the same data. The two
spectra have a set of peaks at 2950 – 2850 cm
which is due to the C-H stretching vibrations. The
variation of the intensity or height of the peaks is mainly caused by the symmetrically and
asymmetrically stretching of the C-H bonds present in the compounds. Furthermore, another group of
peak can be seen at the fingerprint region specifically at 1470 – 1370 cm
which corresponds to the C-H
bond bending of hexane and heptane. Comparing the intensity or the % reflectance between C-H
stretching and bending frequency, the C-H stretching has a higher intensity which is theoretically
correct. Stretching vibrations tend to absorb more energy than bending vibrations since when a bond
stretches, the distance between atoms increases and thus resulting to an increase in the dipole
moment. The greater the dipole moment is, the more intense the absorption. Since hexane and heptane
are organic compounds, they both have C-C bonds. The C-C stretching vibrations occur at 1300 – 800 cm
, it has a low intensity since C-C bond is basically nonpolar.

Based from these findings, distinguishing heptane from hexane is not really possible. Since the
data gathered from their IR spectra are generally the same. However, we can deduce that the samples
are alkanes given by the findings stated above that each compound contains single C-H and C-C bonds
only. Hence, an infrared spectroscopy will just give us information to help us identify the functional
groups present in a compound. However, it could not lead us to the identification of the specific name
of the compound.

Table 2. Summary of data obtained from n-butanol, iso-butanol, and tert-butanol IR spectra.

Absorption bands (cm
C-H bond O-H bond C-O bond
peak Stretching Stretching
n-butanol 2950 – 2850 3410 – 3200
Iso-butanol 2950 – 2850 3440 – 3200
Tert-butanol 2960 – 2860 3500 – 3200

* - Approximate center of range for the group frequency
N-butanol, iso-butanol and tert-butanol also have a numerous set of peaks at 2960-2850 cm

which corresponds to the C-H bond stretching vibrations. All three spectra have a strong and broad peak
at frequency range of 3500 – 3200 cm
and this is due to the stretching of O-H bonds. The peak as we
can see is broad because of the hydrogen bonded -OH group and at the same time, intense or strong
because of the bond’s high polarity. On the other hand, all the IR spectra of the samples only differ on
the C-O bond peak. N-butanol’s peak is at 1030 cm
, while iso-butanol is at 1040 cm
and lastly tert-
butanol’s peak is at 1190 cm
. Theoretically speaking, the C-O bond peak distinguishes the three types
of alcohol among from each other. The primary alcohol approximate center of range is at 1050 cm
secondary alcohol is 1100 cm
and tertiary alcohol is at 1150 cm
. Therefore, tertiary alcohols have the
highest frequency than the two types of alcohols while the primary alcohols have the lowest frequency.
There are some slight differences between the experimental and theoretical data. The group could have
not properly cleaned the sample holder, hence, contaminations of previous samples could have altered
the IR spectrum.

Table 3. Data obtained from coconut oil and olive oil IR spectra.
Samples C=C stretching frequency (cm-1)
Coconut oil 1560 - 1550
Olive Oil 1665 - 1640

As we can see in the olive oil IR spectra, its C=C peak can be easily noticed than in the IR
spectrum of coconut oil. The C=C peak of olive oil has a higher intensity and frequency than of the
coconut oil. As stated earlier, stretching vibrations absorbs more energy than bending vibrations so the
higher intensity is, the more energy absorbed, the higher its frequency and also an increase in degree of
unsaturation. In line with the olive oil, we can say that it absorbs more energy than the coconut oil since
a C=C peak can be clearly distinguished in its IR spectrum compared to the coconut oil. Thus, olive oil is
more unsaturated than coconut oil.

McMurry, J. E. (2012). Organic Chemistry. Belmont, California: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning
Coates, J. (2000). Interpretation of Infrared Spectra, A Practical Approach, 2-34. Retrieved from