### How does temperature affect the rate at which a candle burns?

```How does
temperature affect
the rate at which a
candle burns?
Victoria Sosar
Hazleton Area High School
2nd year in PJAS
Background information
-The wick of a candle is usually made of an absorbent
twine, and must have strong capillary action (which
means the wick needs to be able to absorb melted
wax and move it up while the candle burns.)
-Paraffin wax is made of a heavy hydrocarbon that is
comes from crude oil.
-The third temperature will be the ice/salt bath. when
ice and salt are mixed the salt melts the ice to a
small degree but also makes the temperature below
zero degrees.
-An infrared thermometer was used to take the
temperature of the candle because research showed
it was the most accurate to take temperatures off
Objective
- The objective of this experiment is to
find the relationship comparing the
temperature of a candle and at which
the rate it burns.
Hypothesis
-The hypothesis for this experiment is
that the candle will burn slower the
coldest conditions.
Materials used in
experiment
-8 identical,unscented candles
-lighter
-Clay putty
-balance scale
-timer
-infrared thermometer
-ice cubes
-iodized salt
-plastic cups
-Styrofoam plate
Experimental procedure for Temperature
1
(room temperature of 26.0 C)
1.Weigh each candle to find the mass and record each
measurement
2. put the clay putty on the bottom of the candles and stick
them to the styrofoam plate. Record the temperature of the
room.
3. light the candles and let them burn for exactly 20 minutes.
4. blow out the candles and let them stand until they are
cooled
5.Once the candle is finally cooled weigh the mass of the
candle after the burning.
6.Using the weight of the candle before the burning, and after
the burning, and the amount of time the candle was burnt,
calculate the burn rate with the mathematical equation.
Experimental Procedure for
Temperature 2 (ice bath 3.3 C )
1.(Repeat from the first procedure)
2.Fill 2 clear plastic cups to the top with ice and put the
candle in, but allow about 1/4 of the top of the candle to
stick out.Let it sit for about 10 minutes
3.(Repeat from the first procedure)
4.(Repeat from the first procedure)
5.Once the candle is finally cooled weigh the mass of the
candle after the burning.
6.(Repeat from the first procedure)
Experimental Procedure for
Temperature 3 (ice/salt bath -10.1
C)
1.(Repeat from the first and second procedure)
2.Fill 2 clear plastic cups to the top with ice and put two
tablespoons of iodized salt on top of the ice. put the
candle in the cup, but allow about 1/4 of the top of the
candle to stick out. let it sit for about 10 minutes.
3.(Repeat from the first and second procedure)
4.(Repeat from the first and second procedure)
5.Once the candle is finally cooled weigh the mass of the
candle after the burning.
6.(Repeat from the first and second procedure)
Controlled, Independent and
Dependent Variables
Controlled Variable- The paraffin wax candles
Independent Variable- The temperature of the
burning conditions
Dependent Variable- The burn rate of the
candles
Mathematical equation to figure out
the burn rate of the candle
Burn Rate= Initial Mass - Final Mass
Initial Time - Final Time
Results for Temperature 1
(room temperature of 26.0 C)
Candle 1: 19.39 - 17.10
0 - 20
Answer: .1145 g/ min
Candle 2: 19.39 - 17.10
0 - 20
Answer: .1145 g/ min
Candle 3: 19.39 - 17.12
0 - 20
Answer: .1135 g/ min
Results for Temperature 2
(ice bath of 3.3 C)
Candle 1: 19.39 - 16.90
0 - 20
Answer: .1245 g/ min
Candle 2: 19.39 - 16.91
0 - 20
Answer: .124 g/ min
Candle 3: 19.39 - 16.91
0 - 20
Answer: .124 g/ min
Results for Temperature 3
(Ice/Salt bath of -10.1 C)
Candle 1: 19.39 - 15.83
0 - 20
Answer: .178 g/ min
Candle 2: 19.39 - 15.85 Answer: .177 g/ min
0 - 20
Candle 3: 19.39 - 15.85 Answer: .177 g/ min
0 - 20
Comparing Results of Burn Rates
Temperatures
26.0 C
3.3 C
-10.1 C
Possible errors
- Not measuring the weight of the ice cubes
before using it to make the candles cold.
-
Future areas of research
- testing different types of wax
-testing scented wax
-testing colored wax
Sources
http://www.candlescience.com/faq/11/generalcandle-making/how-to-calculate-burn-time/
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question267.htm