Beyond Benign

High School

CUR HS Thermodynamics


Enthalpy of Combustion

By investigating the molar heat of combustion of paraffin compared to soy wax students measure the thermal heat absorbed by water, measure the heat of combustion of paraffin and soy wax and calculate the molar heat of the combustion of paraffin.

Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions

This labs use catalase, an enzyme found in nearly all living organisms, to decompose peroxide in an exothermic reaction and citric acid and water to produce an endothermic reaction and a change in enthalpy (∆H).

Freezing Point Determination

A modification of the Molar Mass Determination by Freezing Point Depression with a focus on the qualitative effects of colligative properties.

Molar Mass Determination by Freezing Point Depression

Students determine the molar mass of an unknown fatty acid dissolved in a known fatty acid using freezing point depression and colligative properties. This lab replaces traditional experiments using hazardous organic solvents.

Synthesis of Biodiesel

In this multi-lesson module students consider the physical properties of different oils used to make biodiesel and then make their own fuel. Students will then analyze the enthalpy of combustion of the biodiesel they have made.