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Molar Mass of a Volatile Liquid

Introduction Much analytical chemistry is now done using modern technologies. Before the development of such instruments as a mass spectrometer, molar mass was determined using simple balances and glassware. To find the molar mass of a volatile liquid.



A volatile liquid will be vaporized in an Erlenmeyer flask. The mass, volume, pressure and temperature of the vapour will be determined. Calculate the molar mass of methanol CH3OH.



safety glasses utility clamp ring stand thermometer aluminium foil boiling chips volatile liquid balance 1.

125 mL Erlenmeyer flask 200 mL graduated cylinder 10 mL graduated cylinder hot plate rubber band barometer 600 mL beaker


Place the Erlenmeyer, foil and rubber band on the balance. Record the mass. Measure 3 mL of the liquid and add it to the Erlenmeyer. Use the foil to tightly seal the Erlenmeyer. Use the elastic band to secure the foil. Use the pin to make as small a hole as possible in the center of the foil. Clamp the flask inside the 600 mL beaker slightly tilting the flask.




Molar Mass of a liquid.doc




Add water to the beaker to surround the flask. Add boiling chips to the water. Slowly heat the water and observe the evaporation of the liquid. When the liquid has completely evaporated, remove the flask from the water and measure the temperature of the water. Record the atmospheric pressure. If a barometer is not available, use the internet to find the pressure in your location. When the flask has cooled, dry the flask and record its mass including the foil, band and liquid.





10. Remove the cap, fill the flask with water and use the graduated cylinder to find the volume of the flask. Record this volume.


Mass of flask, foil and rubber band Water temperature Atmospheric pressure Mass of flask, foil, band and liquid Volume of the flask

g °C kPa g mL


1. Use the Ideal Gas Law to find the number of moles of gas present in the flask.

Molar Mass of a liquid.doc



2. Use the mass of gas in the flask and the moles to find the molar mass of the gas.


State the experimentally determined molar mass of the gas.


Calculate the percentage error. If this error exceeds 5% account for the error.

Molar Mass of a liquid.doc