Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Fossil Fuels

Figure from experiment 30 from Earth Science with Vernier


More than 80% of the world’s total energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Coal, natural gas, and petroleum (which includes oil and gasoline) are all used extensively throughout the world. The energy content of a fossil fuel is an important property. This property helps scientists and engineers determine the usefulness of a fuel. Energy content is the amount of heat produced by the burning of 1 gram of a substance, and is measured in units of joules per gram (J/g).

In this experiment, you will determine the energy content of a fuel by burning an amount of the fuel and capturing the heat released in a known mass of water. You will use a Temperature Probe to measure the initial and final temperatures of the water, then calculate the energy released.


In this experiment, you will

  • Use a Temperature Probe to measure the temperature of water.
  • Use a balance.
  • Determine the energy content of fuels.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Earth Science with Vernier »

Experiment 30 from Earth Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Earth Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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