Arlind Mara Paper Towel Lab Report AP Biology 15 September 2011 Which Towel is The Quicker-Picker Upper! To determine which of the most popular paper towel brands such as Bounty and Marcal would be the Quicker-Picker-Upper I conducted the following experiment during which I dipped 6in X 6in squares of paper towels into 100mL and measured the amount of water absorbed by the towels in 20 seconds. After averaging all 3 trials for the paper towel brands that I tested I arrived to the conclusion that the Bounty Cooking paper towel is the Quicker-Picker-Upper as it absorbed about 21.
mL of the water in 20 seconds as oppose to Marcal (19. 2mL) Stop & Shop (13. 8mL) and the generic school brand (1. 8mL). Juice or water spills seem to be the most common accidents, and the quickest way to clean them up is by using paper towels. Because they are made from trees, paper towels consist of giant cellulose molecules which are highly hydrophilic (have an affinity for water) because of the hydrogen and oxygen atoms located on their outer edges.
Much like the trees use properties of water for capillary action which moves water up from the roots to the leaves, the paper towels also use water’s cohesive(attraction of a water molecule to another water molecule) and adhesive(attraction of a water molecule to another hydrophilic molecule) behaviors to soak up water. The water bonds with the cellulose because of adhesive behavior and therefore soaks the towel. Although paper towels work in similar ways, the absorbance rate varies between different brands.
A lot of different towel brands such as Bounty , Marcal, and even generic brands and Stop & Shop paper towels claim to be the best at cleaning up spills, but which one of them is the Quicker-Picker-Upper? This experiment was designed to determine which brand of towel is best used for cleaning spills by measuring the towel’s absorbance rate. Hypothesis: If Bounty Cooking paper towel is used, it will absorb the greatest amount of the liquid in 20 seconds than the other brands because its soft texture suggests that the towel has more pores than the other towels therefore it is able to hold more water.
Bounty Cooking towels also uses a 2-ply or a 3-ply construction with tight diamond shaped quilting for extra absorbance. After coming up with a reasonable hypothesis the group gathered all the materials which included one (1) 25mL graduated cylinder, one (1) 250mL beaker, one (1) ruler, scissors, and (1) timer and samples from 4 paper towel brands which were Bounty Cooking, Marcal, Stop&Shop paper towels, and Generic School brand paper towel. In order to make the experiment more reliable, it was decided that the number of trials would be three (3) for each brand.
The group measured a 6in by 6in square on each brand and cut them out using the scissors. The group then cut two more 6in by 6in square from each brand to achieve the appropriate amount of paper towels needed to execute 3 trials per brand. The number of paper towel squares cut in total was 12. The 250mL beaker was then filled to 100mL and the 6inx6in square of the School paper towel was dipped into the beaker and left there for 20 seconds. After the timer hit 20 seconds, the school paper towel was picked out of the beaker and moved to the graduated cylinder and squeezed to release the amount of water it absorbed.
The group then measured the amount of liquid from the graduated cylinder to see how much the towel had absorbed. To get a more accurate measurement the group also subtracted the amount of water left in the beaker from 100mL which was the amount of water the beaker originally had. The group noted the measure into the data table. The beaker was refilled to 100mL. The group then repeated the last 8 steps for the remaining paper towel squares, and noted the data on the appropriate columns. The group then used the left-over paper towels to clean up.
Amount of water (in mL) absorbed by each paper towel brand in a duration of 20 seconds. | Paper towel brand| Bounty Cooking| School (Generic)| Stop & Shop| Marcal| | Time| Amount| Time| Amount| Time| Amount| Time| Amount| Trial 1| 20 sec| 22. 5mL| 20 sec| 1. 5mL| 20 sec| 12. 0mL| 20 sec| 20. 5mL| Trial 2| 20 sec| 20. 0mL| 20 sec| 1. 6mL| 20 sec| 13. 5mL| 20 sec| 21. 5mL| Trial 3| 20 sec| 23. 0mL| 20 sec| 2. 5mL| 20 sec| 16. 0mL| 20 sec| 15. 5mL| Average amount absorbed:| 21. 8mL| 1. 8mL| 13. 8mL| 19. 2mL| *=Because the beaker was filled to 100mL 1mL=1%) The data indicates that Bounty Cooking absorbed an average of 21. 80mL or 21. 80%* of the water solution in 20 seconds as oppose to Marsal which absorbed an average of 19. 2ML or 19. 20 %, Stop&Shop Brand that absorbed an average of 13. 8mL or 13. 80% and School Brand that absorbed an average of 1. 8mL or 1. 80% of the solution with the time remaining constant at all cases. Since Bounty Cooking paper towel absorbed the highest amount of water in 20 seconds, it is considered the quicker-picker-upper.
The data collected in this experiment supports the original hypothesis which stated that Bounty Cooking paper towel would absorb the greatest amount of liquid in 20 seconds because of its structure and texture which allows for it to absorb and retain more water than the other towels. Bounty absorbed 21. 80mL of water, the highest amount when compared to the other brands such as Marsal (19. 2mL), Stop&Shop Brand (13. 8mL) and Generic School Brand (1. 8mL), therefore Bounty Cooking paper towel is the Quicker-Picker-Upper and should be the towel used to clean liquid spills fast.
Although this experiment is supports the hypothesis enough to arrive at a conclusion like the one above, it did have some sources of error that might have affected the measurements therefore leading to invalid results. Some of these errors were: 1) The beaker used is not an instrument that has a reliable precision therefore the amount of the liquid that should have had remained constant at 100mL throughout the experiment, might have been different for every trial. ) The time the paper towels were left soaking in the water might have varied from 20 seconds to 22 because of the reaction time of both of the members of the group was NOT faster than a fraction of a second. This means that the amount of time the towels should have been left soaking did not remain constant throughout the experiment. 3) Water was spilled when moving the paper towel from the beaker to the graduated cylinder and while trying to squeeze out the liquid from the towels. This could lead to inaccurate measurements, and therefore harm the reliability of this experiment.
This experiment could be improved if the following were included: 1) The use of a more precise instrument such as the burette would have given more accurate data therefore making the experiment more reliable. 2) If the timer was to be stopped between 19-19. 50 seconds, there would be a higher chance of keeping the time constant throughout the experiment. 3) The use of a funnel would have prevented spilling of the water therefore making the data collected more valid. 4) More trials should be executed in order to get a more accurate average of the measurements.
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