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Exothermic reactions in GCSE Chemistry

Hey guys, today I will be doing an overview for Exothermic reactions.

An Exothermic reaction is when there is energy transferred to the surroundings. This can be shown by a increase in temperature on a thermometer.

Bond Making = EXOTHERMIC

This is important as when a product is formed there is going to be energy release. But in an EXOTHERMIC reaction, the energy in bond breaking is more than the energy for bond making (which is the products). Resulting in this negative energy change.

One example would be: Combustion. –> As the large amounts of heat produced is given out to the surroundings.

A second example would be: Oxidation reactions

(Potassium + Water –> Potassium Hydroxide + Hydrogen gas) –> This oxidation reaction would release a lot of energy to its surroundings.

Another example would be: Neutralisation Reactions  – (Acid + Alkali –> Salt + Water)

Exothermic reactions do have a role in daily life for us too! Such as: Self-heating cans or Handwarmers. As this chemical reaction would be the oxidation of Iron in air to then release this energy.



This figure is a reaction profile for EXOTHERMIC reactions.

As you can see the Products have lower energy than the reactants. The difference in the height would represent the net energy change during the reaction. This is also known to be a negative(-) enthalpy change.

The Activation Energy is the minimum amount of energy required to start off a reaction. This can be supplied by heating up the reaction.

Please if you have any further questions, feel free to contact me!

By Anshjeet Singh


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