Measuring the heat of combustion of regular potato chips, reduced fat potato chips and nonfat potato chips using bomb calorimetry

CHED 1002

Paul Giokas, and John B. Dudek, Department of Chemistry, Hartwick College, One Hartwick Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820
The goal of this project is to enhance a traditional physical chemistry experiment by measuring the heat of combustion of a variety of different brands and types of potato chips. Initial results have shown that regular potato chips and non-fat potato chips have the same heat of combustion even though the reported caloric content differs by about 40%. The difference is due to additives found in non-fat potato chips. This laboratory experiment gives meaningful insight to how calories are measured and reported. The bomb calorimeter is calibrated by burning benzoic acid and is tested by measuring the heat of combustion of naphthalene.