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8: Thermochemistry

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    Useful forms of energy are also available from a variety of chemical reactions other than combustion. For example, the energy produced by the batteries in a cell phone, car, or flashlight results from chemical reactions. This chapter introduces many of the basic ideas necessary to explore the relationships between chemical changes and energy, with a focus on thermal energy.

    • 8.1: Energy Basics
      Energy is the capacity to do work (applying a force to move matter). Heat is energy that is transferred between objects at different temperatures; it flows from a high to a low temperature. Chemical and physical processes can absorb heat (endothermic) or release heat (exothermic). The SI unit of energy, heat, and work is the joule (J). Specific heat and heat capacity are measures of the energy needed to change the temperature of a substance or object.
    • 8.2: Enthalpy
      If a chemical change is carried out at constant pressure and the only work done is caused by expansion or contraction, q for the change is called the enthalpy change with the symbol ΔH. Examples of enthalpy changes include enthalpy of combustion, enthalpy of fusion, enthalpy of vaporization, and standard enthalpy of formation.   If the enthalpies of formation are available for the reactants and products of a reaction, the enthalpy change can be calculated using Hess’s law.

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    8: Thermochemistry is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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