Lab Activity No.

3 COMBUSTION AND AIR QUALITY OBJECTIVE: By the end of the activity, the student will be able to 1. Understand the nature of combustion 2. Appreciate desirable combustion characteristics of fuels

MATERIALS: matches, small candle, Bunsen burner (optional), alcohol burner, hexane, toluene, naphthalene balls, blue and red litmus paper PROCEDURE: 1. Light a match and place a moist blue litmus paper over the flame (hold the litmus paper with tongs). Maintain enough distance between the flame and the paper so that it does not burn. The idea is to allow the gaseous products of combustion to react with the moisture and the litmus dye. Note the color of the litmus paper. Repeat the procedure using red litmus paper. Do the same with the other flame sources (candle, match, alcohol lamp). Write your observations. 2. CAUTION: The following must be done inside a fume hood. Place about 5 mL of hexane in an evaporating dish and carefully ignite it with a lighted match. Observe the color and general appearance of the flame. Hold a second evaporating dish with tongs over the flame, allowing the flame to come in contact with the bottom. Observe soot formation (if any). Do the same, separately, for toluene and naphthalene. Compare with the flame of the alcohol lamp. Hold an evaporating dish over the alcohol lamp flame. Note your observations.

Group No. _____ Names: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________

Date: _______


1. Acid –Base Properties of Combustion Product Flame source match alcohol lamp candle 2. Flame characteristics Color/Appearance of flame Hexane Bottom of evaporating dish Effect on moist litmus paper Red Blue



Alcohol lamp

Questions: 1. Based on your observations, what generalization can you make about the products of combustion?

2. Look up the molecular structures and chemical formula of hexane, toluene and naphthalene. Comment on the relationship between chemical structure and flame character.

3. Which among hexane, toluene and naphthalene would make a better fuel? Why?

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