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# Determination of Density of a Liquid Mixture Using a Pycnometer

## John Darren E. Casidlac, Kris Marielle H. Maliwat, Robert Kier L. Montealegre,

Bren A. Sison, Ma. Lara Angela B. Yumul

Abstract – For this experiment, the density of three brands of alcohol was determined using a
pycnometer. At 25°C, the volume of the pycnometer was determined to be 51.2870 cm3. The
computed density of Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol is 0.8721 g/cm3, Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol is 0.8725
g/cm3 and SM Bonus Isopropyl Alcohol is 0.8702 g/cm3.

## Introduction which causes an increase in its volume.

Density is directly proportional to its mass
Density (ρ) is an intrinsic physical
and inversely proportional to its volume.
property of matter. It is the ratio of mass to its
Therefore, the density will decrease as the
volume.
volume increases. This is more noticeable in
𝑚 liquids than in solids, especially in gases.
𝜌=
𝑣
The SI unit for density is kg/m3. The
unit most often used in laboratory is g/m3 or Experimental
g/mL. Before using, the pycnometer was
Density is used in many areas of cleaned and dried. It was washed using a
applications to designate certain properties of liquid soap and rinsed using deionized water.
materials. It is the most used gravimetric Small amount of acetone was used to dry the
procedures in laboratories. It can indicate a pycnometer. It was swirled and then
change in the composition of material or a discarded in a waste container. After coating
defect in a product. the sides with an acetone, it was dried using a
blower and cooled to room temperature.
Pycnometer, a glass or metal
container with a precisely determined The dried pycnometer was weighed
volume, is used to determine the density of using an analytical balance. After weighing,
liquids. Determination of density using this deionized water was poured in a separate
instrument is a very precise procedure. 250-mL beaker and its temperature was
During the experiment, it is important to recorded. Based on its temperature, the
make sure that all operations are performed at density of water was checked in the CRC
a constant temperature and that no air is Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and
trapped in the liquid. recorded in the data table.

The density of a matter, whether The pycnometer was filled with the
solid, liquid or gaseous, is dependent on deionized water to just above the cap stem. It
temperature. The general rule for this is: the was tapped gently to dislodge the bubbles.
higher the temperature, the lower the density. The glass lid was then inserted.
 When a material is heated, it expands

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Using a fiber-free cloth or filter paper, B. Determination of the Density of
the outside of the pycnometer was dried. Its Three Brands of 70% Isopropyl or
weight was then recorded. Ethyl Alcohol
To determine the density of Brand of
SM
commercial 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, Isopropyl Biogenic Rhea
Bonus
the dried pycnometer was filled with the Alcohol
Weight of
solution and was then weighed. The density pycnometer 40.1090 40.1106 40.1123
of the solution was determined using the (g)
known volume of the pycnometer. Weight of
pycnometer
84.8348 84.8589 84.7409
+ weight of
alcohol (g)
Results and Discussion
Weight of
44.7258 44.7483 44.6286
A. Determination of the Volume of a alcohol (g)
Pycnometer Volume of
pycnometer 51.2870 51.2870 51.2870
The density of water at 25°C was checked (cm3)
in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Density
0.8721 0.8725 0.8702
(g/cm3)
Physics and was recorded to be 997.0479
kg/m3.  The units were then converted to
g/cm3. After determining the volume of
pycnometer, the density of the three
Density of water (at
997.0479 kg/m3 commercial alcohol was calculated. The
25°C)
Weight of weight of alcohol was calculated by
40.1117 g
pycnometer subtracting the weight of pycnometer from
Weight of the weight of pycnometer + alcohol. Using
pycnometer + weight 91.2473 g 𝑚
the density formula (𝜌 = 𝑣 ), the density of
of water
Weight of water 51.1356 g three commercial alcohols was calculated.
Volume of
51.2870 cm3 At 25°C, the computed density of
pycnometer
alcohols, ranging from 0.8702 to 0.8725
g/cm3, is lower than the density of water,
The weight of water was determined by 0.9970 g/cm3. These indicate that alcohol is
subtracting weight of pycnometer from the less dense than water. Alcohol molecules
weight of pycnometer + weight of water. have both polar and nonpolar character. The
𝑚
From the density formula (𝜌 = 𝑣 ), the polar part of the molecule is the hydroxyl
volume of the pycnometer can be calculated group and the nonpolar part of the molecule
𝑚 is the alkyl group. Its physical properties
by 𝑣 = 𝜌 , which is equal to 51.2870 cm3.
depend on which portion of the structure
dominates. 
Water is denser than alcohol largely
because of the arrangements of its molecules.
The molecules of water are closely packed

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than alcohol.  This means that it has more Density of Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol
mass in the same volume as compared to weight of alcohol
= density
alcohol. volume of pycnometer
44.7483 g 𝑔
3
= 0.8725 3
51.2870 𝑐𝑚 𝑐𝑚
Calculations
A. Determination of the Volume of a Weight of SM Bonus Isopropyl Alcohol
Pycnometer (weight of pycnometer + weight of alcohol)
- Weight of pycnometer = weight of alcohol
Weight of water 84.7409 g - 40.1123 g = 44.6286 g
(weight of pycnometer + weight of water) -
weight of pycnometer = weight of water Density of SM Bonus Isopropyl Alcohol
91.2473 g - 40.1117 g = 51.1356 g weight of alcohol
= density
volume of pycnometer
Volume of pycnometer 44.6286 g 𝑔
weight of water 3
= 0.8702 3
51.2870 𝑐𝑚 𝑐𝑚
density of water
= volume of pycnometer
51.1356 𝑔 Density (g/cm3) of Three Brands of
𝑘𝑔 1000 𝑔 1 𝑚3 Commercial Alcohol
997.0479 3 × ×
𝑚 1 𝑘𝑔 1000000 𝑐𝑚3 0.873
= 51.2870 𝑐𝑚3
0.872

## B. Determination of the Density of 0.871

Three Brands of 70% Isopropyl or 0.87
Ethyl Alcohol
0.869

## Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol

Weight of Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol
(weight of pycnometer + weight of alcohol) SM Bonus Isopropyl Alcohol
- Weight of pycnometer = weight of alcohol
84.8348 g - 40.1090 g = 44.7258 g
The graph above summarizes the
Density of Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol average values of the densities of the three
weight of alcohol brands of commercial alcohol. The values
= density ranges from 0.8702 to 0.8725 g/cm3. This
volume of pycnometer
44.7258 g 𝑔 table shows that Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol is
3
= 0.8721 3 the densest alcohol while SM Bonus
51.2870 𝑐𝑚 𝑐𝑚
Isopropyl is the least dense alcohol.

## Weight of Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol It indicates that at 25°C, isopropyl

(weight of pycnometer + weight of alcohol) alcohol (with density range of 0.8702-0.8725
- Weight of pycnometer = weight of alcohol g/cm3) is less dense than water (with density
84.8589 g - 40.1106 g = 44.7483 g of 0.9975 g/cm3). Water is denser than

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alcohol because its molecules can pack
closely together, which means that it has
more mass in the same volume than alcohol.

Conclusion
The density of three commercial
isopropyl alcohols was determined using a
pycnometer. The recorded temperature is
25°C and the computed volume of
pycnometer was 51.2870 cm3. After
computing the volume of pycnometer, the
density of the alcohol was determined. The
density of three brands of alcohol was 0.8721
g/cm3 for Biogenic Isopropyl Alcohol,
0.8725 g/cm3 for Rhea Isopropyl Alcohol and
0.8702 g/cm3. In this experiment, all
operations must be performed at a constant
temperature. Air must not be trapped in the
liquid and the use of fiber-free cloth or filter
paper is recommended to dry the outside of
the pycnometer to prevent possible errors.

References
1. Gupta, S. V. (2002). Practical
Density Measurement and
Hydrometry. New Delhi: Institute of
Physics Publishing.