Melting Point and Boiling Point of Organic Compounds

Topics: Temperature, Liquid, Fundamental physics concepts Pages: 5 (1038 words) Published: May 5, 2013
Sample Lab Report

for CHM 152

Lab Partner(s)


The physical properties, including the boiling point, density, and refractive index were measured for unknown liquid #16. The infrared (IR) spectrum of the compound was also taken. Based on the data collected, it was determined that the compound was likely to be salicylaldehyde. Introduction

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the identity of an unknown organic liquid by measuring some of its physical properties. The properties were then compared to those of known compound to make an identification. The properties determined included density, boiling point, refractive index, and important absorption bands in the infrared spectrum.


Unknown number 16 was obtained for the experiment. The unknown was an oily, colorless liquid which had a strong fruity odor. Measurement of the properties was conducted over a period of two lab classes.

Density was determined by weighing an empty vial along with its cap. After recording the mass, exactly 1.0 mL of unknown was transferred to the vial using an automatic pipetting device. The vial was then quickly capped to minimize evaporation and weighed. The mass of 1.0 mL of liquid was calculated as the difference in the two weighings. This procedure was repeated two more times and the average of the three measurements was recorded as the density.

The boiling point was measured using a microscale device consisting of a capillary tube, a microcapillary tube and a melting point apparatus. The microcapillary tube was sealed on one end by rotating the end gently in a Bunsen burner flame until it was sealed. Care was taken to avoid overheating the tube which would cause it to bend. The larger capillary tube was heated gently in the flame on its sealed end. While still hot, its open end was dipped into the unknown liquid. As the tube cooled, a small amount of liquid was drawn into it. The liquid in the tube was then tapped to the bottom of the tube. The microcapillary tube was then placed, open-end down, into the larger tube (see Figure 1). The tube system was then placed in a melting point apparatus where it could be observed and heated in a controlled fashion. As the tube was heated, bubbles were observed emerging from the mouth of the smaller tube. As the temperature rose, the bubbles formed in a steady stream. At this point the temperature on the apparatus was turned down and the moment the bubbling stopped, the temperature was read. This temperature was recorded as the boiling point. This experiment was conducted three times and the values were averaged.

The refractive index, a measure of the bending or refraction of light when it passes from one medium into another, was measured on an Abbe Refractometer. Two or three drops of unknown liquid was placed on the glass prisms of the instrument before the lid was latched. While looking into the viewer, the field of view was adjusted to bring the boundary of the lighted area and the dark area into the center of a set of crosshairs. When this adjustment was completed the reading button was pressed and the refractive index and the temperature were recorded. Since the refractive index is temperature sensitive, the value was corrected for temperature with an appropriate formula (see calculations).

The infrared spectrum was run for unknown # 16. The infrared spectrum provided a plot of the unknown molecule's tendency to absorb infrared energy, which was based on the types of bonds present. The spectrum was used to determine the class of the compound.


Properties and Data


|Weighing |Trial 1 |Trial 2 |Trial 3 | | | | | | |Vial plus...
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