Change of volume: petrol to petrol vapour
Practical Activity for 14-16
This experiment works more easily than that with water and is less expensive.
Apparatus and Materials
- Change of volume kit (as shown in the diagram) with long needle (8 to 10 cm)
- Beaker, 400 ml
- Wire stirrer to fit inside the tall beaker and go round the measuring cylinder
- Plastic tube to carry over to beaker
- Plastic tube to extend to the bottom of the measuring cylinder
- Petroleum ether, 40 – 60 boiling fraction
Health & Safety and Technical Notes
Ordinary petrol must not be used as it contains benzene (carcinogenic) proportions. Petroleum ether can be regarded as
The security of the syringe with the long needle is an issue to be watched.
Read our standard health & safety guidance
The change of volume kit should include:
- 100ml measuring jar
- Rubber stopper with two tubes inserted
- Rubber cap
- Hypodermic syringe and needle
- Syringe and needle
If the measuring cylinder has a pouring lip, the rubber stopper, with its two glass tubes, must extend below the lip to prevent leakage there.
- Place the measuring cylinder (without its stopper) in the tall beaker.
- Put about 200 ml of water into the small beaker.
- Fill the tall beaker and the measuring cylinder with boiling water from an electric kettle.
- Close the cylinder with its bung and ensure the outlet plastic tube is in the water in the small beaker.
- Push the needle through the cap on the short tube in the bung and inject 0.1 ml of petroleum ether. As the petroleum ether turns to vapour, the displaced hot water runs over into the small beaker.
- To reverse the change, take the measuring cylinder out of the large beaker, ensuring the end of the plastic tube stays under the water in the small beaker. You have to wait for the temperature to fall to about 60°C.
- The expected volume change is 1 to 800.
This experiment was safety-tested in August 2006