Calculating Specific Heat Capacity of Oil-Water Mixture

In summary, the specific heat capacity of a mixture of water and oil is the sum of the individual specific heat capacities of the two liquids. While it may take longer to heat up the different components individually, in equilibrium, the mixture as a whole has one heat capacity. This can be thought of as a black box where the individual components are heated and exchange heat with each other until reaching the same temperature.
  • #1
ergonomics
14
0
i am not sure if my question fits in this place.

if i have certain amounts of water and oil, 3kg and 4kg.
i mix them together, and i want to find the specific heat capacity of the mixture, according to my book the specific heat capacity of such a mixture is the sum of the two specific heat capacities of the liquids.

this does not really make any sense to me, if i put heat into the mixture shouldn't the water or the oil part of the mixture take longer to heat up?
does the heat transfer not depend on the heat capacity individually?
certain parts of the mixture are made of oil and water and therefore supposed to have different heat capacities, and yet when you put them into a mixture they all have the same heat capacity.
 
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  • #2
Yes, the mixture has ONE heat capacity. While it may take different amounts of heat to raise the oil droplets and the water through a given change in temperature, you must accept that in equilibrium (ie: given enough time), the two phases reach the same temperature (by exchanging heat with each other).
 
  • #3
Think in terms of mixture being black box seen from the outside - you don't see individual components being heated.
 

Related to Calculating Specific Heat Capacity of Oil-Water Mixture

1. What is specific heat capacity?

Specific heat capacity is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a substance by one degree Celsius. It is expressed in units of joules per gram per degree Celsius (J/g°C) or calories per gram per degree Celsius (cal/g°C).

2. How is specific heat capacity calculated?

Specific heat capacity can be calculated by dividing the heat energy (in joules or calories) absorbed by a substance by its mass (in grams) and the change in temperature (in degrees Celsius). The formula is Q = m x c x ΔT, where Q is the heat energy, m is the mass, c is the specific heat capacity, and ΔT is the change in temperature.

3. Why is it important to calculate specific heat capacity of an oil-water mixture?

The specific heat capacity of a substance determines how much heat is needed to raise its temperature, which is important in industries such as cooking, heating, and cooling. In the case of an oil-water mixture, knowing the specific heat capacity can help in determining the amount of heat needed to achieve a desired temperature, and thus optimize processes and save energy.

4. How is specific heat capacity affected by the oil-water ratio?

The specific heat capacity of an oil-water mixture is affected by the ratio of oil to water. Generally, the more oil there is in the mixture, the lower the specific heat capacity will be, as oil has a lower specific heat capacity compared to water. This means that a mixture with more oil will require less heat to raise its temperature compared to a mixture with more water.

5. Can specific heat capacity change at different temperatures?

Yes, specific heat capacity can change at different temperatures. This is because the specific heat capacity of a substance is affected by its phase (solid, liquid, or gas) and can also vary slightly with temperature. However, for most practical purposes, the specific heat capacity of a substance is considered constant over a small temperature range.

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