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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

There are many measuring tools and techniques that can be used in measuring the

density of a solid, liquid, or a gas. A material's density is defined as its mass per unit volume.

It is, essentially, a measurement of how tightly matter is crammed together. The principle of

density was discovered by the Greek scientist Archimedes. It says that the apparent weight of

an object immersed in a liquid decreases by an amount equal to the weight of the volume of

the liquid that it displaces. Density is a key concept in analyzing how materials interact in fluid

mechanics, weather, geology, material sciences, engineering, and other fields of physics.

One use of density is in how different materials interact when mixed together. Wood

floats in water because it has a lower density, while an anchor sinks because the metal has a

higher density. Helium balloons float because the density of the helium is lower than the

density of the air. The change in density can also be useful in analyzing some situations, such

as whenever a chemical conversion is taking place and energy is being released. The charge in

a storage battery, for example, is an acidic solution. As the battery discharges electricity, the

acid combines with lead in the battery to form a new chemical, which results in a decrease in

the density of the solution.

When an automotive service station tests various liquids, like transmission fluid, they

will pour some into a hydrometer. The hydrometer has several calibrated objects, some of

which float in the liquid. By observing which of the objects float, it can be determined what

the density of the liquid is. And, in the case of the transmission fluid, this reveals whether it

needs replacing yet or not.


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The hydrometer is one of the tools in measuring the density of such material but it has

a very small measuring range unlike pycnometers that has a high accuracy of measurement (to

10-5 g/cm3 in cgs units).

The pycnometer (from the Greek puknos, meaning "density", and metron meaning

"measure"), also called specific gravity bottle, is a standard vessel used to measure the density

or specific gravity of a liquid or solid. It has a stopper so that air bubbles may escape from the

apparatus. This enables the density of a fluid to be measured precisely accurately.

Usually, density is measured with a pycnometer by weighing a substance, usually in

the liquid state, that is placed in the device and fills the pycnometer to a mark on its neck or to

the upper edge of a capillary tube, corresponding to the nominal volume of the pycnometer.

The measurement of volume is considerably simplified if the pycnometer has a scale rather

than a single mark. Pycnometers with aside capillary tube in which the stopper is usually the

body of a thermometer are particularly convenient in operation. The density of solids is

determined by placing them in a pycnometer with a liquid. Pycnometer of special shape, such

as spherical, are used to measure the density of gases.

The major advantages of the pycnometric method for the determination of density are

the possibility of using small quantities of material (0.5 to 100 cm3), the small area of free

surface of the liquid in the pycnometer (which virtually eliminates evaporation of the liquid

and absorption of moisture from the air), and the separation of the operations of thermostatic

control and subsequent weighing.

Pycnometers are highly accurate but are quite expensive compared to other density

measurement methods. Unfortunately, these instruments also break easily just like

hydrometers. The method is quite slow and time consuming because the pycnometer needs to
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dried completely before using it. Besides requiring a large sample volume and a skilled

operator for this rather complicated procedure, it also requires the accurate measurement of the

temperature in the system. Thermostatting is quite a challenge and a highly precise balance is

needed for reliable results.

The purpose of this experiment is to determine the density of the three liquids namely

water (the reference liquid), chloroform and methanol using the pycnometer. The chloroform

will be the densest because chlorine atoms are heavy while methanol will be the least dense of

the three.

For liquids, its exact volume can be accurately obtained by filling it with a calibration

liquid such as water. By weighing the pycnometer with water using the analytical balance, one

can calculate the exact volume as the water’s temperature-dependent density value is given.

So a thermometer is necessary for the experiment because the temperature actually affects the

density of such liquid. From the equation of density equals mass over volume, a simple

calculation provides information about the exact volume where the volume of water filling the

pycnometer is equal to the weight experimentally obtained divided by the given density of

water. When determining the unknown density of a sample afterwards, the same formula is

used in a different way where the value of density is just equal to the mass that is

experimentally obtained divided by the volume of the pycnometer obtained from the previous

step wherein water was used.

Even though pycnometer is quite expensive, this apparatus is highly accurate when

measuring the density of liquids and even solids. This experiment is important because its

method is easy to follow and accurate.


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Chapter 2

DENSIGN AND METHODOLOGY

This experiment dealt with the determination of density of three liquids, namely

water, chloroform and methanol. A pycnometer is used to determine the densities of the liquid.

The study conducted three trials for each of the reagents for accuracy and precision of the data.

Preparation of Pycnometer

The pycnometer is cleaned with enough hydrochloric acid and then washed with

distilled water. Using a dryer or an oven, completely dry the pycnometer. After drying, weigh

the pycnometer accurately with the aid of an analytical balance.

Determination of Density of Water

Fill the clean pycnometer with distilled water. Dry the sides of the pycnometer. Weigh

it accurately using the analytical balance. Determine the weight of water by subtracting the

measured weight by the weight of the empty pycnometer. Measure the temperature of water.

Search for the density of water with its corresponding temperature in the table provided in the

manual. Solve for the volume of water using Eq. 2.1.


𝑚𝐻2𝑂
V= (2.1)
𝜌𝐻2𝑂

Determination of Density of Chloroform

Fill the clean pycnometer with chloroform. Dry the sides of the pycnometer. Weigh

it accurately using the analytical balance. Determine the weight of chloroform by subtracting

the measured weight by the weight of the empty pycnometer. Measure the temperature of

chloroform. Solve for the density of chloroform using Eq. 2.2 and compute for the average

density.

(𝑚𝑙𝑖𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑑 )(𝜌𝐻2𝑂 )
𝜌𝑙𝑖𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑑 = (2.2)
𝑚𝐻2𝑂
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Determination of Density of Methanol

Fill the clean pycnometer with methanol. Dry the sides of the pycnometer. Weigh it

accurately using the analytical balance. Determine the weight of methanol by subtracting the

measured weight by the weight of the empty pycnometer. Measure the temperature of

methanol. Solve for the density of methanol using Eq. 2.2 and compute for the average density.
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Chapter 3

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Effect of Temperature in Density

The volume of an object increases with increasing temperature because of the matter’s

volumetric thermal expansion. The density of a liquid depends on its temperature with higher

temperature resulting in lower density.

Density of Water

In this experiment, distilled water serves as the reference liquid. The density of water

is obtained from the table of Temperature Dependence of Distilled Water Density in the

experiment manual. In Table 3.1, water with a temperature of 300.15K has a density of 0.9966

g/cm3 . In trial 2 and trial 3, the temperature of water is 299.15K and has a density of 0.9968

g/cm3 . Temperature affects the density. A higher temperature yields a lower density.

Table No. 1 Density Determination of Water


Reference Liquid: Water Trial
1 2 3
Weight of empty pycnometer 20.81g 20.81g 20.81g
Weight of pycnometer with water 45.63g 45.66g 45.53g
Weight of water 24.82g 24.85g 24.72g
Temperature of water (K) 300.15 299.15 299.15
Density of water (g/cm3) 0.9966 0.9968 0.9968
Average Density 0.9967
Volume of water(cm3 ) 24.9059 24.9298 24.7994

Density of Chloroform

The density of chloroform is solved using the density and weight of water in 3.1. The

density of chloroform is affected by temperature. A higher temperature yields a lower density.

According to Perry, Chloroform has a density of 1.4810 g/cm3 and 1.4792 g/cm3 at 299.15K

and 300.15K, respectively. In Table 3.2, the recorded densities at 299.15K are 1.4660 g/cm3
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and 1.4807 g/cm3 . The experimental value from trial 3 is accurate. The experimental value

from trial 1 has a slight difference from the true value. At 300.15K, chloroform has a density

of 1.4641 g/cm3 which is a little bit less than the true value. Errors may be due to equipment

malfunctions and procedure is not carefully executed.

Table 3.2 Density Determination of Chloroform


Chloroform Trial
1 2 3
Weight of empty pycnometer 20.81g 20.81g 20.81g
Weight of pycnometer with chloroform 57.32g 57.31g 57.53g
Weight of chloroform 36.51g 36.50g 36.72g
Temperature of chloroform (K) 299.15 300.15 299.15
Density of chloroform (g/cm3) 1.4660 1.4641 1.4807
Average Density 1.4702

Density of Methanol

The density of methanol is solved using the density and weight of water in Table 3.1.

The density of methanol is affected by temperature. A higher temperature yields a lower

density. According to Perry, Methanol has a density of 0.7896 g/cm3 and 0.7910 g/cm3 at

298.15K and 296.65K, respectively. In Table 3.3, the recorded densities at 298.15K are 0.7938

g/cm3 and 0.7994 g/cm3 . The experimental value from trial 3 is very near from the true value.

The experimental values from trials 1 and 2 have a slight difference from the true value. Errors

may be due to equipment malfunctions and procedure is not carefully executed.

Table 3.3 Density Determination of Methanol


Methanol Trial
1 2 3
Weight of empty pycnometer 20.59g 20.59g 20.59g
Weight of pycnometer with methanol 40.36g 40.52g 40.42g
Weight of methanol 19.77g 19.93g 19.83g
Temperature of methanol (K) 298.15 298.15 296.65
Density of methanol (g/cm3) 0.7938 0.7994 0.7996
Average Density 0.7976
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With the information from Table 3.1-3.3, it is shown that methanol is the lightest

among the 3 liquids with a density 0.7976 g/cm3 . It is followed by water which has a density

of 0.9967 g/cm3 . Lastly, chloroform, the heaviest, has a density of 1.4702 g/cm3 .
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Chapter 4

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

The determination of density using pycnometer was investigated in this study. The

use of pycnometer shows an accurate method of density determination with an appropriate

reference liquid, in this case, water. The method shows minimal percent error in values

obtained experimentally. The density of a liquid is affected by temperature. The temperature

of the liquid is inversely proportional to its density. A higher temperature yields a lower

density. In this study, it is found that chloroform is the heaviest and methanol is the lightest

among the 3 liquids. The densities of a liquid varies at different situations.

This experiment can be more accurate with proper and careful execution of the

procedure. Accuracy and proper reading of analytical balance must also be observed. The

researchers recommend to work with various temperatures and other liquid references. It is

also recommended to use an efficient dryer to save time.


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References

Hold, A. S. (2017, June 23). The Very Basics of Density Measurement Methods. Retrieved
August 20, 2017, from http://blog.anton-paar.com/the-very-basics-of-density-
measurement/
Jones, A. Z. (2017, August 10). Density: How Much Stuff Makes Up Different Stuff?
Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-density-
definition-and-calculation-2698950
Pycnometer. (n.d.) The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition. (1970-1979). Retrieved
August 20 2017 from http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Pycnometer
Pycnometer. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2017, from https://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/pycnometer
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APPENDICES

APPENDIX A

List and Uses of Apparatus

Analytical Balance – A device that measures the weight of the pycnometer accurately.

Beaker – It is used to contain the reagents to be transferred to the pycnometer.

Dropper – It is used to transfer the reagents into the pycnometer.

Dryer – A device used to dry the pycnometer completely.

Pycnometer – It is a device used to determine the density of a liquid. This device enables a

liquid's density to be measured accurately by reference to an appropriate working fluid.

Thermometer – It measures the temperature of the reagent.

Wash Bottle – It is used to rinse various pieces of laboratory glassware.

APPENDIX B

Definition of Terms

Density – It is the elementary physical property of matter, for a homogeneous object, it is

defined as the ratio of its mass to its volume.

Mass – It is the quantity of matter that a body/thing contains.

Volume – It is the quantity of three-dimensional space enclosed by some closed boundary,

for example, the space that a substance (solid, liquid, gas, or plasma) or shape occupies or

contains.

APPENDIX C

Computations

A. Reference Liquid: Water

 mwater = mpycnometer + water - mpycnometer


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Trial 1: 45.63 - 2.81= 24.82g

Trial 2: 45.66 - 2.81= 24.85g

Trial 3: 45.53 – 2.81 = 24.72g

 Twater = TºC + 273.15

Trial 1: 27 ºC + 273.15 = 300.15K

Trial 2: 26 ºC + 273.15 = 299.15K

Trial 3: 26 ºC + 273.15 = 299.15K

0.99655+ 0.9968+ 0.9968


 Average Density = 3

= 0.9967 g/cm3
mwater
 Vwater = ρwater

24.82g
Trial 1: 0.99655g/cc = 24.9059 cm3

24.85g
Trial 2: 0.9968g/cc = 24.9298 cm3

24.72g
Trial 3: 0.9968g/cc = 24.7994 cm3

B. Chloroform

(mliquid)(ρwater)
ρliquid = mwater

Trial 1:

(36.51)(0.9966)
ρliquid =
24.82

= 1.4660 g/cm3

Trial 2:

(36.5)(0.9968)
ρliquid = 24.85

=1.4641 g/cm3
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Trial 3:

(36.72)(0.9968)
ρliquid = 24.72

=1.4807 g/cm3

(1.4660+1.4641+1.4807)g/cc
Average Density = 3

= 1.4702 g/cm3

C. Methanol

(mliquid)(ρwater)
ρliquid = mwater

Trial 1:

(19.77)(0.9966)
ρliquid = 24.82

= 0.7938 g/cm3

Trial 2:

(19.93)(0.9968)
ρliquid = 24.85

= 0.7994 g/cm3

Trial 3:

(19.83)(0.9968)
ρliquid = 24.72

= 0.7996 g/cm3

(0.7938+0.7994+0.7996)g/cc
Average Density = 3

= 0.7976 g/cm3