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ERIC Number: EJ1138789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
"Greening" a Familiar General Chemistry Experiment: Coffee Cup Calorimetry to Determine the Enthalpy of Neutralization of an Acid-Base Reaction and the Specific Heat Capacity of Metals
Bopegedera, A. M. R. P.; Perera, K. Nishanthi R.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n4 p494-499 Apr 2017
Coffee cup calorimetry, performed with calorimeters made with styrofoam coffee cups, is a familiar experiment in the general chemistry laboratory. These calorimeters are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide good insulation for most thermodynamics experiments. This paper presents the successful substitution of paper coffee cups for styrofoam cups to construct homemade calorimeters. Important modifications to the experimental protocol when using paper cup calorimeters are discussed. Data collected using calorimeters constructed from the two types of cups are presented in order to demonstrate that comparable results can be obtained for the enthalpy of neutralization of an acid-base reaction and for the heat capacities of metals. These results also compare favorably with published values. Finally, an approach to using scientific literature to help general chemistry students examine whether paper or styrofoam cups provide the "greener" option is discussed.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A