Uses of calorimeter

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Uses of calorimeter

One technique we can use to measure the amount of heat involved in a chemical or physical process is known as calorimetry.

Calorimetry is used to measure amounts of heat transferred to or from a substance. To do so, the heat is exchanged with a calibrated object calorimeter.

The change in temperature of the measuring part of the calorimeter is converted into the amount of heat since the previous calibration was used to establish its heat capacity.

The measurement of heat transfer using this approach requires the definition of a system the substance or substances undergoing the chemical or physical change and its surroundings the other components of the measurement apparatus that serve to either provide heat to the system or absorb heat from the system. Knowledge of the heat capacity of the surroundings, and careful measurements of the masses of the system and surroundings and their temperatures before and after the process allows one to calculate the heat transferred as described in this section.

In a calorimetric determination, either a an exothermic process occurs and heat, q, is negative, indicating that thermal energy is transferred from the system to its surroundings, or b an endothermic process occurs and heat, q, is positive, indicating that thermal energy is transferred from the surroundings to the system. A simple calorimeter can be constructed from two polystyrene cups. A thermometer and stirrer extend through the cover into the reaction mixture.

A calorimeter is a device used to measure the amount of heat involved in a chemical or physical process. For example, when an exothermic reaction occurs in solution in a calorimeter, the heat produced by the reaction is absorbed by the solution, which increases its temperature. The temperature change, along with the specific heat and mass of the solution, can then be used to calculate the amount of heat involved in either case. Scientists use well-insulated calorimeters that all but prevent the transfer of heat between the calorimeter and its environment.

This enables the accurate determination of the heat involved in chemical processes, the energy content of foods, and so on.

Commercial solution calorimeters are also available. Relatively inexpensive calorimeters often consist of two thin-walled cups that are nested in a way that minimizes thermal contact during use, along with an insulated cover, handheld stirrer, and simple thermometer.


Commercial solution calorimeters range from a simple, inexpensive models for student use to b expensive, more accurate models for industry and research.

Before we practice calorimetry problems involving chemical reactions, consider a simpler example that illustrates the core idea behind calorimetry. Suppose we initially have a high-temperature substance, such as a hot piece of metal Mand a low-temperature substance, such as cool water W. If we place the metal in the water, heat will flow from M to W. Under these ideal circumstances, the net heat change is zero:.

This relationship can be rearranged to show that the heat gained by substance M is equal to the heat lost by substance W:.

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The magnitude of the heat change is therefore the same for both substances, and the negative sign merely shows that q Substance M and q Substance W are opposite in direction of heat flow gain or loss but does not indicate the arithmetic sign of either q value that is determined by whether the matter in question gains or loses heat, per definition.

In the specific situation described, q Substance M is a negative value and q Substance W is positive, since heat is transferred from M to W.

In a simple calorimetry process, a heat, q, is transferred from the hot metal, M, to the cool water, W, until b both are at the same temperature.

A g piece of rebar a steel rod used for reinforcing concrete is dropped into mL of water at The final temperature of the water was measured as Bomb calorimeters are devices used to determine the heat of combustion of a chemical reaction. The information gathered from a bomb calorimeter during a chemical reaction tells scientists whether certain products are safe for use and the quality level of each product being tested.

Bomb calorimetry at its most basic form is the scientific study of thermodynamic processes. A bomb calorimeter measures the heat of combustion produced in a chemical reaction, as well as reaction enthalpy, heats involved in formation, heats involved in the reaction, and change in enthalpy throughout the reaction.

Bomb calorimeters are essential to scientific and theoretical thermodynamic studies. Another common use of bomb calorimeters is in education training. Calorimetry is taught in university-level science courses, as well as some high school classes.

Individuals pursuing careers in a field that requires the use of bomb calorimetry must first become very familiar with the processes involved with using a bomb calorimeter. Bomb calorimeters are used to test the calorific value of solid and liquid fuels, which are traded based on that value. Fuels such as coal and oil must meet regulations specifying the total calorific value, quality and purity of the fuel. Liquid fuels like gasoline and kerosene are also tested by bomb calorimetry.

The cement industry is one of several industries that use hazardous waste as an alternative fuel.

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However, the use of hazardous waste as fuel is regulated by the government, including the Environmental Protection Agency EPA. Bomb calorimetry is used to determine whether hazardous waste fuel meets those regulations and is safe and appropriate for use.

Bomb calorimetry can be used to determine the calorie content of a product. This process is used in food and metabolic studies to examine the effects of energy content in food on humans and animals. These studies have implications that extend into nutritional considerations and health concerns regarding the effects of diet on the body.

Propellants typically burn predictably at a steady rate, while explosives are unstable and exert a huge amount of pressure with the induction of the chemical reaction — information about both of these processes are identified with bomb calorimetry. Photo Credits. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.Posted By: Tony Onwujiariri April 4, The bomb calorimeter is an instrument used in measuring the heat of combustion of a substance. Combustion is always accompanied by the evolution of heat.

The amount of heat evolved when one mole of a substance is burned completely in oxygen is known as the heat of combustion or enthalpy change of combustion.

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The heat of combustion is an important quantity since the combustion of fuels forms the main source of energy for industrial and domestic purposes. The energy used by the living body is also obtained from the biological combustion of food. For practical purpose, the relative effectiveness of a fuel is expressed more often in terms of its calorific value which is the amount of heat evolved per kilogram of the substance. Bomb Calorimeter. A bomb calorimeter is usually used for the accurate determination of the heat of combustion.

It consists of a strong cylindrical steel vessel or bomb usually lined with enamel to prevent corrosion. A known mass about a gram of the test substance is placed in a platinum crucible inside is about 2 x 10 6 Nm -2 20 atm.

KJ mol -1 M r Calorific. Value KJg -1 Methane 16 This initial temperature is measured using the thermometer in the calorimeter. The test substance is then ignition coil. The temperature of the water, which is stirred continuously, is recorded at seconds intervals in order to find the maximum temperature attained.

uses of calorimeter

From the heat capacity of the whole system two calorimeters, water, thermometer and stirrerthe temperature rise and the heat generated by the ignition current, it is then possible to calculate the heat of combustion using the bomb calorimeter. Heat of Solution. When an ionic solid dissolves in water, a two-step process occurs, where each step is accompanied by a heat change.

uses of calorimeter

These steps are as follows:. The resultant heat change of the two steps determines whether the dissolution is exothermic. It is known as the heat of solution. Generally, when an ionic solute dissolves in a solvent, the overall heat change of the dissolution is as follows.

In hydrated salts where the ions are already extensively hydrated before dissolution, the heat of hydration would very small. Hence, the dissolution of hydrated salt is endothermic. The extent to which the solute particles become separated and hydrated in aqueous solution varies with the relative amounts of solute and solvent. The two steps become complete only in dilute solution. If a concentrated solution is diluted, there will be a further heat change, the heat of dilution.

This heat of dilution gradually decreases so that eventually, increasing the dilution produces no further heat changes. In practice, this occurs when there are — 1 moles of water to 1 mole of solute.

The standard heat of solution is the amount of heat absorbed or evolved when one mole of a substance is dissolved in so much water that further dilution results in detectable heat change. Standard heats of solution of some common solutes in aqueous solution.

Uses of a Bomb Calorimeter

A solid with a positive heat of solution value is not as soluble as one with a negative value. Since solubility varies with temperature, a substance which. Some solutes, when added to water, will react with the water molecules to form entirely new products which then dissolve to form an aqueous solution chemical solution. For example. The heat changes involved in such reactions would include the heat of the reaction between water and the solute, and the heats of solution of the new products.Calorimeterdevice for measuring the heat developed during a mechanical, electrical, or chemical reactionand for calculating the heat capacity of materials.

Calorimeters have been designed in great variety. One type in widespread use, called a bomb calorimeterbasically consists of an enclosure in which the reaction takes place, surrounded by a liquid, such as water, that absorbs the heat of the reaction and thus increases in temperature.

Measurement of this temperature rise and a knowledge of the weight and heat characteristics of the container and liquid permits the total amount of heat generated to be calculated.

The design of a typical bomb calorimeter is shown in the Figure. The material to be analyzed is deposited inside a steel reaction vessel called a bomb.

The steel bomb is placed inside a bucket filled with water, which is kept at a constant temperature relative to the entire calorimeter by use of a heater and a stirrer. The temperature of the water is monitored with a thermometer fitted with a magnifying eyepiece, which allows accurate readings to be taken. Heat losses are minimized by inserting an air space between the bucket and an exterior insulating jacket.

Slots at the top of the steel bomb allow ignition wires and an oxygen supply to enter the vessel, both of which are critical in starting the chemical reaction. When an electric current passes through the ignition coil, a combustion reaction occurs.


The heat released from the sample is largely absorbed by the water, which results in an increase in temperature. Bomb calorimeters have been developed to the point that heats of combustion of organic materials can be measured with results reproducible within 0.

Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Home Science Chemistry. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree See Article History. Britannica Quiz. Gadgets and Technology: Fact or Fiction?There are various other applications continuously being added.

Keep an eye on this page to read more about current and future applications.


Animal feed stock relies on the animal digestion conversion. A calorimeter burns the lot and measures the released heat. Then a calorimeter can't be used to measure food stock? The coal industry is the traditional application of calorimeters because coal has a variety of properties, apart from being black.

If the coal is used for steam generation then the calorific value is of paramount importance. The calorific value, in short the CV, is a measure of how much heat can be extracted from it. Only explosives which can be ignited by heat from the calorimeter's firing circuit can be tested in the oxygen calorimeter. The calorific value of an explosive is not very high, but the burning speed is.

As a general rule, volatile fuels are measured very seldom because they are very consistent. However, if a fuel absorbs water, then frequent analysis is called for. Volatile fuel such as alcohol must be prevented from evaporating during the handling process that is from weighing to ignition of the sample.

Here is an example of food calories from www. As the article says : "The method of using a combustion calorimeter to measure food calories is not frequently used today. Let's look at the details. Oils are a non-volatile substance.

In general they are not measured frequently because they are very consistent and uniform. Other oil properties are more important than the calorific value, such as taste of viscosity.

If an oil is measured in an oxygen calorimeter, then the procedure would be the same as a solid substance. We have a wealth of technical knowledge and calorimeter experience second to none.

We are continuously improving our systems with the latest technology as it becomes available, allowing the students to work on a cost effective, easy to use, easy Heating energy is being dumped on our municipal landfill sites.

Our landfill sites are being clogged by plastic waste, which battle to bio-degrade over time.How to use a calorimeter? Calorimeter is a heat measuring device. Many students use calorimeters in their science project experiments where they need to measure heat capacity or the specific heat of a substance.

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A calorimeter is generally used to measure the amount of heat energy and then uses that to calculate the specific heat of a substance or other heat related information.

It also contains a thermometer and a stirrer. The thermometer is used to measure the temperature of the liquid usually water in the inner vessel. The stirrer is used to stir the liquid and distribute heat in the vessel. Calorimeters have a fiber ring that hold the inner vessel hanging in the center of the outer vessel.

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The fiber ring is made of insulating fiber material. Finally, each calorimeter has an insulating cover or lid with holes for the stirring rod and thermometer. Start by assembling the vessels. Place the fiber ring in the larger vessel and then insert the small vessel in the center of the fiber ring. Insert the thermometer in the center hole of the lid or insulating cover; position it so that when you close the cover, the bulb of the thermometer will be in the center of the lower vessel, about one inch from the bottom.

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Insert the stirring rod and attach the handle of the insulating rod. How to use your calorimeter to measure the specific heat of Iron? Fill the inner vessel with ml water. Close the lid and leave it for about 30 minutes. At this time the bulb of the thermometer must be in the water. If it is not, push the thermometer lower.

After 30 minutes, read and record the water temperature. Fill up a test tube half way with iron nails. Weigh and record the weight of the nails.

uses of calorimeter

Place the test tube with nails in hot-boiling water for about 10 minutes. Open the lid of the calorimeter and transfer the nails to the inner vessel. Immediately close the lid. Move the stirrer up and down and read the temperature. Record the highest temperature.

This will be the final temperature of the water and nails. Calculate the temperature increase of water and temperature loss of iron nails. Multiply the temperature increase of water by ml of water to calculate the total heat transfer in calories. Divide the total heat transfer by the temperature loss of iron; then divide the results by the weight of iron to calculate the specific heat of iron.

Calorimeters include two vessels. One is known as an outer vessel and the other is known as an inner vessel. The air between the inner vessel and the outer vessel works as a heat insulator, so there is no or very little heat exchange between the contents of the inner vessel with the outside.

How to assemble your calorimeter?When it comes to the appearance of products, the most important aspect of appearance is the color of the product. The color contributes a major portion of the appearance and hence it is essential to ensure that the color of the products is of the best quality and level. To ensure that the color of the products is of the best quality and level, a colorimeter is used.

The colorimeter is a device that is mainly used in industries and laboratories for analyzing the color quality of the products along with color measurement. The colorimeters are highly sensitive devices that can measure the concentration and intensity of a particular color that is used in a product.

There are mainly two different types of colorimeters that are used in industries that are color densitometers and color photometers. The color densitometers measure the color density of primary colors in a color combination in a test sample.

The color photometers are used for measuring the reflectance of a color as well as the transmission. This law states that the light absorption when passes through a medium are directly proportional to the concentration of the medium.

When a colorimeter is used, there is a ray of light with a certain wavelength is directed towards a solution. Before reaching the solution the ray of light passes through a series of different lenses. These lenses are used for navigation of the colored light in the colorimeter.

The colorimeter analyzes the reflected light and compares with a predetermined standard. Then a microprocessor installed in the device is used for calculation of the absorbance of the light by the solution. If the absorption of the solution is higher than there will be more light absorbed by the solution and if the concentration of the solution is low then more lights will be transmitted through the solution. To analyze the concentration of an unknown sample, there are several specimen prepared from the test sample and then tested using an efficient colorimeter.

After analysis, the transmittance and concentration of the tested specimen are plotted on a graph to obtain a graphical representation of the concentration creating a calibration curve.

This curve is then compared with the curve of a known sample, and the concentration is measured. Testronix has been a known name in the field of color quality management.

From last ten years, we have been providing world-class solutions to the industries for their color quality management and color measurement. Presto Stantest Pvt. What is Colorimeter? How Colors can be analyzed using Colorimeters? August 3, Previous post Next post.

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