Cheeto Calorimetry

The magnitude of heat given off by a burning Cheeto is used to measure approximate caloric content of a Cheeto.

Curriculum Notes 

This demo serves as a good introduction to thermochemistry - particularly the concepts of the calorie and calorimetry and combustion reactions.

Lead Time 
One day of lead time is required for this project.

On ring stand there will be two clamps.  On the bottom clamp use the buret clamp to hold the 50ml beaker.  On the top clamp use the three fingered clamp to hold the Vernier stainless steel thermometer probe that is connected to the GoLink! interface.  This plugs into the usb port of computer with appropriate Vernier software. Place watch glass under beaker to catch ashes.t

  • Vernier stainless steel thermometer probe and a GoLink! interface
  • Bag of Cheetos
  • Computer with Vernier with Logger software (dongle if using mac)
  • RGB cable
  • Lighter
  • Forceps
  • Large watch glass
  • Ring stand and two ring stand clamps
  • Small 3 fingered clamp
  • Buret clamp
  • 50 ml beaker
  • Small bottle of DI water

Load logger software and expand the temperature reading to fit the full screen. Use forceps to hold Cheeto and light on fire. Hold burning Cheeto under the 50 mL beaker and monitor the increase in temperature.

Safety Precautions 

Since fire is involved keep paper and other flammable materials clear of demo space.  Make sure that the watch glass is placed under the burning Cheeto to catch falling pieces.

© Copyright 2012 Email: Randy Sullivan, University of Oregon Chemistry Department and UO Libraries Interactive Media Group