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Title : Determination of the density of an unknown liquid Objective : To determine the density of a liquid using the pycnometer method.

Introduction : There are several experimental methods used for density determination of liquids.We will learn how to use pycnometer in this experiment. The pycnometer is a flask with a close-fitting ground glass stopper with a fine hole through it, so that a given volume can be accurately obtained. This enables the density of a fluid to be measured accurately, by reference to an appropriate working fluid such as water or mercury, using an analytical balance. If the flask is weighed empty, full of water, and full of a liquid whose specific gravity is desired, the specific gravity of the liquid can easily be calculated. The particle density of a powder, to which the usual method of weighing cannot be applied, can also be determined with a pycnometer. The powder is added to the pycnometer, which is then weighed, giving the weight of the powder sample. The pycnometer is then filled with a liquid of known density, in which the powder is completely insoluble. The weight of the displaced liquid can then be determined, and thence the specific gravity of the powder. The density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is (the lower case Greek letter rho).The SI unit of density is kg/m3. Different materials usually have different densities, so density is an important concept regarding buoyancy, purity and packaging. Density of a matter always varies with different pressure and temperature. This is because two of these variables influence the intermolecular forces and compactness of the molecules. The density of a matter always increases with the increasing pressure because the increasing pressure causes the average distance between molecules decrease and more molecules can be packed in a unit volume. Finally, the density increases. The increasing temperature usually decreases the density of a matter. This is because the heat provided supplies kinetic energy to the molecules causing them to vibrate and move more violently. The molecules become more and more disordered and therefore, the density decreases.

Apparatus and Materials : Distilled water, unknown liquid, pycnometer, weighing balance

Procedure :

The dry and empty pycnometer was weighed. The weight was recorded.

The pycnometer was filled up with distilled water. Air bubbles are allowed to rise to the top before inserting the stopper.

The outside of the pyconometer was dried. The weight of pycnometer filled with distilled water was weighed and recorded.

The filled pycnometer was left at 24.5oC (room temperature when the experiment was carried out) for about 5 minutes.

The procedure was repeated with the unknown liquid.

Results and Calculations : Weight of dry and empty pycnometer = 25.5665g Weight of pycnometer + water = 1 : 76.8158g 2 : 76.8143g Average : 76.8151g Weight of pycnometer + unknown liquid = 1 : 66.0368g 2 : 66.0340g Average : 66.0354g Density of water at 24.5C = 0.99717 g cm-3

d=M V

= d (ML - M) (Mw - M)

d = (Mw - M) V V = (Mw - M) d where, M = mass of pycnometer Mw = mass of pycnometer + water ML = mass of pycnometer + unknown liquid dL = (ML - M) V d = density of water dL = density of unknown liquid V = volume of pycnometer

= (Mw - M) d

= 51.3940 cm-3


= (ML - M) V

The unknown liquid is ethanol since the density obtained, 0.7874g cm-3, is nearest to the density of ethanol, 0.789g cm-3.

= 0.7874g cm-3

Discussion : Pycnometer is a laboratory glassware used to determine the density of small samples by measuring volume very precisely. It has a stopper with a tiny capillary tube through it, which allows the air bubbles trapped inside the pycnometer to escape from it when the pycnometer is being closed with stopper. During the experiment when filling the vessel, we ensure that no air bubbles are entrapped and that it is not heated by incautious handling. When the volume of pycnometer is known, it works with an analytical balance so that the mass of sample is determined in order to calculate the density at a specific temperature. When weighing the full pycnometer, we make sure the outside are perfectly dry by wiping any excess liquid with tissue paper. This is to ensure accurate weight of pycnometer will be obtained. The density, r, is elementary physical property of matter. For a homogeneous object it is defined as the ratio of its mass m to its volume. From the equation of density, Density, = other equations are able to be derived to find the volume of the pycnometer. To find the volume of pycnometer, we must know the mass of empty pycnometer, the mass of pycnometer filled with distilled water and the density of water at that specific room temperature, which is 24.5oC. Finally, the density of unknown liquid are able to be calculated. Density of a matter is defined as its mass per unit volume. Density of a matter always varies with different pressure and temperature. This is because two of these variables influence the intermolecular forces and compactness of the molecules. The increasing temperature usually

decreases the density of a matter. This is because the heat provided supplies kinetic energy to the molecules causing them to vibrate and move more violently. The molecules become more and more disordered and therefore, the density decreases. Density does not only depend on the molecular mass of a matter but also its physical state and intermolecular forces. The stronger the attractive forces between the molecules, the more compact all molecules are, the more number of molecules in a unit volume results in high mass per unit volume which is high density. From the result above, it shows that the density of water is higher than density of ethanol, however both of them form hydrogen bonding among their molecules. Hydrogen bond is formed when an electronegative atom (hydrogen bond acceptor) is attracted by a hydrogen atom (hydrogen bond donor) which is covalently bonded to another electronegative atom. Each water molecule, H2O, has two electron lone pairs as hydrogen bond acceptors on oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms as hydrogen bond donors. Each electron lone pair can form hydrogen bond with other water molecule by attracting its electropositive hydrogen atom. On the other hand, each hydrogen atom can form hydrogen bond with other water molecule as well by attracting its electronegative oxygen atom. In other words, each water molecule is bonded to other four water molecules by hydrogen bonds whereby two through its electron lone pairs of oxygen atom and two through its hydrogen atoms. Hence, water can form a perfectly hydrogen-bonded structure causing the water molecules are tightly packed together even in liquid form. Ethanol is a substance where a methyl group is bonded to a hydroxyl group (OH). The molecules of ethanol can also form hydrogen bonds with each other just like how is it formed in water. The oxygen atom of ethanol also has two electron lone pairs which act as hydrogen bond acceptor to form hydrogen bonds with other two ethanol molecules. However, there is only one hydrogen atom which acts as hydrogen bond donor in ethanol molecule to form hydrogen bond with another ethanol molecule. Three of the hydrogen atoms in methyl group cannot act as hydrogen bond donors since they are bonded to carbon atom but not a highly electronegative atom. Generally, a ethanol molecule is bonded to only three ethanol molecules by hydrogen bonds. Thus, its intermolecular force is not as strong as water and its density is lower than that of water. The high compactness of water molecules causes the density of water is higher than that of methanol.

Question and Answer : Q: Briefly describe the technique of using a pycnometer in determining the density of a solid sample. Is the type of pycnometer used in this experiment suitable for density determination of a solid sample? Yes. Experimental procedure: 1. Determine the weight of empty, dry pycnometer, M. 2. Fill about 1/3 of pycnometer volume with objects made of examined material and measure the weight M1. 3. Add water such that pycnometer as well as capillary hole in the stopper is filled with water. Dry the spare water that leaks through the capillary hole with a filter paper and measure total weight M2. 4. Empty pycnometer and filled it with distilled water only. Use the filter paper to dry the spare water again and measure the weight M3. 5. Empty pycnometer. Rinse it once with a liquid whose density you are going to determine next. Fill pycnometer with the liquid as previously and measure the weight M4. 6. Repeat procedure 5 for several different liquid materials. 7. Clean pycnometer carefully after finishing the experiment. Rinse it with distilled water and let dry. 8. Measure the laboratory temperature t, which determines the temperature of examined liquids and solid objects. 9. Calculate the weight of water MH2o= M3 - M, weight of measured liquid ML = M4 - M and determine its density. Repeat this calculation for all of the measured liquids. 10. In next, calculate the weight of solid object MS = M1 - M and weight of added water MH2o+ = M2 M. 11. Calculate objects volume and its density.

Conclusion : The density of an unknown liquid can be determined by using pycnometer whose weight and volume are known so that the weight of unknown liquid which occupies the entire volume of pycnometer can be determined. The density of unknown liquid is 0.7874g cm-3 which is nearest to the density of ethanol so we conclude that the unknown liquid is ethanol. Density of any liquid varies with different temperatures, thus, the temperature of surroundings of pycnometer is remained as constant as possible.

Precaution Steps : 1) The pycnometer should be picked up at its neck with two layers of papers between it and fingers so that the heat of hands cannot be transferred to the pycnometer resulting in the inaccurate density. 2) The pycnometer must be clean and dry before the initial weighing. 3) When the pycnometer is filled with liquid, the air bubbles must not be trapped in it or capillary of its stopper. 4) The outside of pycnometer must be dry before weighing the filled pycnometer.

Reference : 1. S. Zvi, M.P. Ronald, C.F. Judith, Microscale General Chemistry Laboratory, John Wiley & Sons Inc. : New York, 2003. 2. A. Bruce, E. Patricia, Chemistry: Principles, Patterns and Applications, Pearson Benjamin Cummings : San Francisco, 2007. 3. R. H. Burdon, P.H. Van Knippenberg, Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Elsevier Science Publishers : Amsterdam , 1984.