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Enthalpy of water / ethanol at different ratios -- trend?

  1. Sep 13, 2017 #1

    I was doing some research on enthalpy of water-ethanol mixtures at different ratios, and when looking at all the information graphed, I don't understand why it produces the trend line it does. Why doesn't it produce a 'quadratic' trend line? Shouldn't having a 10:90 water-ethanol exert the same amount of energy that a 90:10 ratio would?

    The graph in question: https://i.stack.imgur.com/lgSbi.png

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2017 #2
    I suppose that you are thinking of a description of the mixing enthalpy in terms of a regular solution model which gives a 'quadratic' dependence as a function of concentration. Regular solution models assume that the short-range environment around a given molecule can be expressed in terms of a random distribution of the constituents, viz. in terms of overall concentration values. In reality, however, one has to think about clusters (central molecule + environment) with a certain short-range ordering. Assume, as a simple example, that one has mixture of small molecules A and much larger molecules B (with attractive interactions between A and B). The mixing enthalpy will be different whether one dilutes a few small molecules in a sea of large molecules or vice versa.
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