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Name: Seduco, Rhett Adrian C.

Date Performed: 09/28/2017

Ubas, Johnziel G. Group No. 11

Experiment No. 4
The Radius of a Molecule from Viscosity Measurements

I. Background

Viscosity is the measure of internal friction between molecules in a flowing fluid. The
higher the value of viscosity the slower is the flow of the fluid under otherwise identical
conditions (Malijevsky, et al., 2005). Viscosity persists because only a part of that fluid
moves, causing it to force other neighboring parts to move along with it causing an internal
friction between the molecules which ultimately leads to a reduced rate of flow
(, 2017).
According to kinetic theory, viscosity in gases at low and medium pressures increases
with temperature and does not depend on pressure. The description of the viscosity of real
gases by kinetic theory is relatively correct. The viscosity of liquids is higher than that of
gases. It increases (slightly) with pressure1 and decreases with increasing temperature
(Malijevsky, et al., 2005).
Viscosity of a solution is dependent on many factors such as temperature, viscosity of
the solvent type of the solute, and the amount of solute. Few assumptions must be made to be
able to formulate a simple equation that relates the viscosity of the solution with the
parameters that affect the viscosity. The first is assuming the shape of the solute particles in
the solution as spheres. The second is assuming the solvent is continuous, where the solvent
is represented as a continuous medium instead of individual explicit solvent molecules. The
last assumption could be true of the particle size of the solute is much bigger than that of the
solvent. The relation of these assumptions is explained by the equation shown below:

= 1 + 2.5

This equation can also be expressed in the form:

= 1 + 6.31021 3

At the other side of the experiment, atomic radius is defined to be the total distance
from an atoms nucleus to the outermost orbital of electron. In simpler terms, it can be
defined as something similar to the radius of a circle, where the center of the circle is the
nucleus and the outer edge of the circle is the outermost orbital of electron. Atomic radii is
useful for determining many aspects of chemistry such as various physical and chemical
properties (, 2017).
This experiment objectively aims to determine the radius of the glycerol molecule,
prepare a solution of one gram of glycerol in every liter of solution, record the time it took
for the stated solution with a given volume to completely flow through a viscometer, also
record the time of flow for the identical volume of water through a viscometer, and finally,
show the graph of relative viscosity plotted against the concentration.

II. Results

Table 4.1. Data gathered from the experiment and solution for /

concentration concentration t (in s) t/t d/d /

(g/L) (mol/L)
0 0 10.31 1 1 1
0.25 0.002714623 10.71 1.038797 1.000057 1.038857
0.5 0.005429246 10.85 1.052376 1.000114 1.052496
0.75 0.008143869 10.98 1.064985 1.000171 1.065168
1 0.010858492 11.03 1.069835 1.000228 1.070079

Table 4.2. Percent Error of the Radius of Glycerol (C3H8O3) Molecule

Parameter Value
experimental 9.91047E-09
theoretical 3.10E-10
% error 3096.93%
Figure 4.1. concentration (mol/L) vs r

III. Discussion and Recommendations

As previously discussed in the background section, viscosity is the measure of internal

friction between molecules in a flowing fluid. The higher the value of viscosity the slower is the
flow of the fluid under otherwise identical conditions (Malijevsky, et al., 2005). In this case, the
experimenters looked at glycerol, a trihydroxylalcohol (, 2017), with the
purpose of determining its atomic radius.

Regarding the relationship between the viscosity and how vast its radius would be,
liquids with smaller molecules will have a lower viscosity than one with larger molecules
because smaller molecules can easily slide past one another. Larger molecules tend to cause
congestion. Furthermore, larger molecules also have stronger intermolecular forces such as
London Forces which attract them to one another with greater strength and hinder molecular
flow, resulting in higher viscosity (Cascio, 2017).

Referring to the attached Excel file, those trials with higher concentrations of glycerol
solution resulted to longer time for them to flow completely through the viscometer. The time
recorded were 10.31, 10.71, 10.85, 10.98 and 11.03 seconds, again with respect to increasing
concentrations pure water, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% glycerol. This is due to how much
glycerol atoms there are in the solution. This presence caused the solution to become more
viscous taking up more time as they become more concentrated. Thus hypothetically saying,
glycerol atoms have larger atomic radius than water.
This experiment was done by making a solution out of water and glycerol, diluted up to a
certain volume. This was preceded by preparing five sets of this mixture of increasing
concentration: pure water, 25% glycerol in water, 50% glycerol in water, 75% glycerol in water
and 100% glycerol solution. Observations were obtained with the use of a Viscometer. The
respective time for each concentration to flow through was also recorded and taken note of.
These results were then plotted into a graph.

Using the given equations and formulas, the desired values were calculated and the radius
of glycerol was determined, settling at 3.10E-10 in comparison to the value obtained through
observation: 9.91047E-09 bearing the percent error of 3096.93%.

The experimenters recommend that the experiment would yield better and more accurate
results if the procedure were thoroughly followed as such minor changes may/can result in
errors. Also, multiple trials would consider more correct sets of data. Dilution processes must
always be correct also this can lead to procedural and human errors if egregiously practiced.

IV. Calculation

A. Radius of glycerol (C3H8O3) molecule


B. d/d and /

= 1 + 0.021

0 0

C. Other Significant Calculations (refer to attached Microsoft Excel file)

V. Conclusion

The relationship between viscosity and radius of the molecule is shown as directly
proportional with each other. That is, as one of them increases, the other is also expected to
VI. References

Prof. Ing. Novak, Josef P. CSc., Prof. Ing. Labk, Stanislav CSc. and Ing. Malijevska, Ivona
CSc. (September 30, 2005). Physical Chemistry in Brief. Institute of Chemical Technology,

n.a. (31 January 2017). Viscosity. Retrieved on 5 October 2017 from

n.a. (07 Sepetember 2017). Atomic Radii. Retrieved on 5 October 2017 from

n.a. (25 April 2016). Size of a Molecule from Viscosity Measurements. Retrieved on 05 October
2017 from

Cascio, Christopher. (24 April 2017). Does Viscosity Increase With the Size of the Molecule?.