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Burn Baby Burn!


Burn Baby Burn! Which type of wood releases the most heat energy? By: Dominick Brennan & Edward Medina Hypothesis We hypothesized that Pine wood will release ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Burn Baby Burn!

Burn Baby Burn!
Which type of wood releases the most heat energy?
  • By Dominick Brennan
  • Edward Medina

  • We hypothesized that Pine wood will release the
    most amount of heat energy.

The purpose of the project is to learn what type
of wood burns fastest and also what type of wood
gives off the most heat energy. This significance
is that it is useful in every day life in many
ways. For example if you were out camping and
wanted to build a campfire you would want to know
which type of wood would burn fastest and
warmest. Also, when heating a house by way of a
fireplace you would want to use the wood that
will keep your house the warmest. Through our
experiment you
would know what was the best type of wood to use.
Also, the answer to this question could help the
environment because if people only burned one
type of wood, it could cut down on air
pollution. Other people have tested this
experiment. We found one example of this project
online, a student from California did this
experiment as a science fair project, although he
did not test for heat energy. However, he did
find that Mulberry wood burned the fastest and we
will keep this in mind when running our
experiments. Another study showed that poplar
burned for the longer period of time and Pine
burned the quickest because the pine has a
certain flammable sap which made it easier to
burn. Poplar had no flammable sap in it. We will
also take these factors into consideration.
The theory behind our experiment is wood has a
certain amount of energy stored in its chemical
bonds. This energy is exerted when these
materials react with oxygen and are turned into
the combustion products. Chemists use what is
called, the heat of formation as a measure of the
energy stored in these compounds. The energy
change associated with a combustion reaction is
the difference between the energy of the products
and the energy of the reactants. The stronger the
bonds in the wood, the more difficult it is to
get the fuel into the gas phase. Also the
stronger the bonds are the stronger the
activation energy is. When we use a source of
heat to start a fire, we're supplying the energy
that is needed to overcome the activation energy
to begin the process of combustion. Once the
process starts, there needs to be a continuous
source of energy in order for the fire continues
to burn.
The method we plan to use in our experiment is
something we like to call the Agni Method, this
is the process of burning a piece wood and
recording how long it took for that individual
piece of wood to burn a certain amount. Also, we
will measure the heat energy of each different
piece of wood. We researched how to do this and
we found what he have to use is called a
calorimeter. A colorimeter measures the heat
developed during a mechanical, electrical, or
chemical reaction and used for calculating the
heat capacity of materials. We will use this to
measure the heat energy that each piece of wood
exerts. This is an exothermic reaction.
  • 1 piece of 4 different types of wood
  • Pine
  • Poplar
  • Douglas Fir
  • Oak
  • Calorimeter
  • 6 Bricks
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Liter
  • Camera

  • Calorimetry is the measurement of the quantity of
    heat exchanged. For example, if the energy from
    an exothermic chemical reaction is absorbed in a
    container of water, the change in temperature of
    the water provides a measure of the amount of
    heat added. Calorimeters are used to determine
    the energy content of foods by burning the foods
    in an oxygen atmosphere and measuring the energy
    yield in terms of the increase in temperature of
    the calorimeter. Calorimeters can also be used to
    measure the specific heat of a substance.

  • Gathered all our materials
  • Set up our experiment area and put together
  • Placed wood in the experiment area
  • Poured 150ml of rubbing alcohol on the piece of
    Pine wood
  • Lit the wood on fire
  • Recorded our data.
  • We repeated step three and four for each of the
    other three pieces of wood.
  • We then analyzed our data and came to a

Final Temperature of Wood (Degrees Celsius)
Heat Energy Released (Joules)
Before we started this experiment, we
hypothesized that Pinewood would give off the
most heat energy. After we completed our
experiment our data concluded that our hypothesis
was incorrect. We found that the pinewood
actually gave off the least amount of heat
energy. It gave off 2401.6 J of energy. This was
about 600 J less than any other type of wood that
we tested. The wood that gave off the most heat
energy was Douglas Fir wood. The piece of Douglas
Fir that we burned gave off 5403.6 J of heat
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