Lab Report on Determination of an Unknown Liquid

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In order to identify an unknown liquid through experiment, one has to find unique data regarding the furnished fluid. The most important data in this test include the boiling point, density, mass, and volume of the liquid. Though insignificant in the willpower of an unknown liquid, initial and final burette readings had been noted down during this experiment. The cause behind their irrelevance is because the extent added was already captured in the table.
Accuracy and Precision
Theoretically, the burette is the most accurate, accompanied by the volumetric pipette and lastly the graduated cylinder. However, in this experiment, the most particular and accurate instrument was the graduated cylinder, followed by the volumetric pipette and lastly the burette. Nonetheless, volumetric pipette would be the instrument that I would use if I were to repeat the experiment. The reasons behind this choice are its precision and accuracy which is more than the graduated cylinder theoretically and second to the graduated cylinder experimentally.

Data Representation

In this experiment, the data collected was represented either numerically or graphically. Each of the methods played a significant role in communicating the results to the addressee. Graphical representation allowed for easier visualization and identification of the line of best fit and therefore a better understanding of the results. On the other hand, numerical representation allows one to see the exact values obtained in the experiment and therefore enabling the addressee to solve problems and calculate the additional values.

Obtaining the Parameters

The density of the liquid is obtained by dividing mass by volume. The mass of the unknown liquid was obtained by measuring it with a weighing balance accurate to 0.001g. The volume was obtained by using the three apparatus mentioned earlier. These are the graduated cylinder, the burette, and the pipette.

Sources of Error

One of the significant sources of error in this experiment was the inability to correctly read the exact level of the liquid in the graduated cylinder. Inaccurate volume results in incorrect density obtained. The second source of error is the systemic error of the weighing scale. The third source of error was the small amounts of the unknown liquid being spilled at times.

Improvements on the Errors

Errors can be improved by repeating the experiment several times until more stable results are obtained. This will provide more accurate and precise results by allowing one to understand the parameters well. Another way of improving the errors is by adding more trials.


Through the utilization of density and the boiling point data, the unknown liquid was found to be 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol). This is because the density and boiling points obtained matched that of 2-propanol. In other words, the density obtained was 0.799 g/ml ± 0.005 and a boiling point of 84.06°C ± 0.1. The most accurate data used to determine the unknown liquid was the boiling point. Despite the density in the data sheet not being accurate and precise enough to match with the theoretical density of the liquid, the data was close to accuracy. This can be credited to the multiple errors involved in arriving at the volume and mass of the liquid and therefore showing that the experimental results will never match theoretical results entirely. However, these errors can be improved as mentioned earlier. Furthermore, the uncertainty of ±0.005g/cm in density and ±0.1°C were small enough to rule out any overlap with the other liquids tested.

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