Watching cashews burn.30 September 2003

This is my favorite lab of the semester, and I've featured it on this site at least a couple of times already (3/5 and 7/1). This burning cashew was especially interesting, as it began dripping and spewing burning oil in various directions.

The students ignite the nut and let it burn out under the soda can containing 200 milliliters of water. From the difference in the mass of the nut, before and after, and the difference in the water temperature, before and after, they can calculate the Calories per gram for each nut, then compare their data to the information on the label. The results are pretty good, but not great. This isn't the best way to determine the heat content of a nut, but it sure is fun.

More pics from Lab 623.



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