I understand that the heat released when burning alcohols is greater as long as the number of carbons in the alcohol chain is increased (i.e the enthalpy of butanol is greater than propanol > ethanol> methanol). my question is about the rate of combustion. which of those alcohols will burn faster? is there any relation between the rate of combustion and the number of carbons in straight alcohols (or straight chain hydrocarbons)? I know that the evaporation rate is inversely proportional to the number of carbons in the chain, is there a different relationship regarding the rate of combustion?

this is actually my question, but i would like to share what brought me to ask this. we have made an experiment with a bomb calorimter to determine the enthalpy of combustion of the first 4 alcohols. i have made 4 plots of the temperature v.s. the time and calculated the temperature change and ultimatelty the enthalpy. yet it seems from the shape of the graph's that the increase in temperature is steeper for the long chain alcohols. i'm not sure if it's just my imagination or that there is really a significant relation here. is that actually indicating that as the number of carbons is increased- the rate of combustion is faster?

  • $\begingroup$ You seek simplicity where there's complexity. BTW you really could work on capitalisation in the post. That being said I think this topic is kinda interesting. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Sep 25 at 0:04

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