Sunday, March 9, 2008
What? Energy in a peanut?
By burning a peanut we release its chemical energy. We can measure this by noting how much the burning peanut can increase the temperature of 50ml of water. The photo above shows shows the calorimetry set-up we used to measure the energy in a peanut.
The experiment wasn't perfect though, because we didn't have a way to measure the mass of the smoke released and we lost some heat to the air and the calorimeter itself.
In order to figure out how much energy there is per mass we used electronic balances to get the mass of the peanuts before and after burning.