Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Anthony Fucaloro

Reader 2

Mary Hatcher-Skeers

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© 2013 Priyanka P. Chary


Alcohol molecules consist of two distinct regions: a polar, hydrophilic alcohol group, and an aliphatic hydrocarbon chain. These regions interact with solvent water molecules in different ways. While the alcohol group acts as a solvent structure breaker by hydrogen bonding with nearby water molecules, the hydrophobic carbon chain acts instead as a solvent structure maker and causes the surrounding water molecules to align themselves in a Clathrate structure. The presence of these two contrasting solute-solvent interactions affects the properties of the solution, among them the molar volume. The partial molar volume of the alcohol is analyzed with respect to three variables: the size and location of the hydrophilic moiety, the concentration of the alcohol-water solution, and the temperature at which the density measurement is made. We show that all three of these variables have a noticeable effect on the interactions between the solute and solvent molecules, and thus the volume of the solution.

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