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Name ____________________________________ date ________________ period ____________

Bunsen Burner Lab

C3H8 + O2 --- CO2 + H2O

Purpose: To familiarize you with the gas burner and to determine the hottest part of the flame.

Background: The hottest part of the flame of a Bunsen burner is the tip of the inner cone. This type of flame
is the one we desire to create in the lab setting. The process of gas burning requires oxygen. The more oxygen
available in this process, the more complete the reaction of combustion. A yellow flame indicates incomplete
combustion, which will produce large amounts of carbon monoxide or black soot on the glassware and
equipment. In today’s lab you will create the “wrong” type of flame (yellow flame = incomplete combustion)
using the Bunsen burner to compare it to the “right” type of flame (blue flame= complete combustion). One
device you will use to test these differences is a Thermocouple. When two different metals are placed in
contact, a transfer of electrons from one metal to the other can take place. If a loop is made of two metals and
their junctions are placed at different temperatures, a current will flow from the higher temperature to the lower
temperature. The thermocouple is a wire made from two alloys that can measure very high temperatures. One
end of the thermocouple will be placed in ice water to simulate 0 degrees Celsius. The other end of the wire
will be placed into various parts of the Bunsen burner flame.

1. Connect the Bunsen burner to a hose and connect to the gas jet. (The gas jets are in the “off” position if
it is parallel to the faucet)
2. Turn the gas jet to the “on” position, which is perpendicular to the faucet.
3. Using the striker, create a spark that will ignite the gas on the Bunsen burner.
4. the barrel of the burner will allow you to adjust the amount of oxygen allowed into the tube for
5. adjust the barrel so that it creates a yellow/orange flame ( incomplete combustion)
6. Hold an empty test tube with the test tube holders and gently wave the test tube in the yellow flame.
7. Observe the black residue that forms on the tube and when cooled wipe it clean with a paper towel.
8. Adjust the barrel of the tube, allowing more oxygen to enter the bottom of the barrel, creating a blue
flame within a blue flame.( this is a more efficient means of combustion)
9. Wave the test tube again in the blue flame and observe what occurs.
10. Turn off the flame at the gas jet.
11. Place a pin through the side of the match and suspend the match inside the center of the burner.
12. Light the burner and observe that the match does not ignite.
13. Slowly turn off the gas jet so that the tip of the inner cone, which is the hottest part of the flame, rests
on the match, igniting the match.
14. Fill a beaker with ice and water and place the black end of the thermocouple in the water.
15. Connect the thermocouple to channel 1 of the cbl II .
16. Turn on the calculator. Press APPS and select DATAMATE.
17. When the main screen appears press CLEAR to reset the program. The thermocouple should
automatically be detected when complete.
18. Re-light the Bunsen burner and place the red end of the thermocouple into the different parts of the
flame as shown in the diagram.
19. Continue mapping the flame to determine the location of the highest temperature of the flame.
20. Repeat step 18 with the air vents closed.
21. Turn off the flame and discard the water in the sink.
Data Table:
Burner Setting Outside Edge Tip of inner cone Inside of cone Top of Flame
Air vents open
Air vents closed


1. Prepare a drawing of each of the flames that you tested and indicate the temperature of each part.
2. Which part of the flame was the hottest? Which part was the coldest?
3. A general rule is that hot objects do not begin to incandesce ( glow) until 750 0C. Do your results
support this rule?
4. After forming an inner blue cone in the flame, how does increasing the amount of air affect the overall
flame temperature?
5. When the air vents are closed , the flame does not get enough ______________________.
6. What instrument is used to light the burner?
7. What should you do if the Bunsen Burner “strikes back” (fire comes out somewhere other than it is
supposed to)
8. What is the residue on the test tube that you used for the yellow flame test?( incomplete combustion)