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q reaction + q solution = 0

This means that the amount of heat produced or consumed in the reaction equals the amount of heat absorbed or lost by the solution:

q reaction = q solution

This concept lies at the heart of all calorimetry problems and calculations.

Heat produced by an exothermic reaction

When 50.0 mL of 0.10 M HCl( aq ) and 50.0 mL of 0.10 M NaOH( aq ), both at 22.0 °C, are added to a coffee cup calorimeter, the temperature of the mixture reaches a maximum of 28.9 °C. What is the approximate amount of heat produced by this reaction?

HCl ( a q ) + NaOH ( a q ) NaCl ( a q ) + H 2 O ( l )


To visualize what is going on, imagine that you could combine the two solutions so quickly that no reaction took place while they mixed; then after mixing, the reaction took place. At the instant of mixing, you have 100.0 mL of a mixture of HCl and NaOH at 22.0 °C. The HCl and NaOH then react until the solution temperature reaches 28.9 °C.

The heat given off by the reaction is equal to that taken in by the solution. Therefore:

q reaction = q solution

(It is important to remember that this relationship only holds if the calorimeter does not absorb any heat from the reaction, and there is no heat exchange between the calorimeter and its surroundings.)

Next, we know that the heat absorbed by the solution depends on its specific heat, mass, and temperature change:

q solution = ( c × m × Δ T ) solution

To proceed with this calculation, we need to make a few more reasonable assumptions or approximations. Since the solution is aqueous, we can proceed as if it were water in terms of its specific heat and mass values. The density of water is approximately 1.0 g/mL, so 100.0 mL has a mass of about 1.0 × 10 2 g (two significant figures). The specific heat of water is approximately 4.18 J/g °C, so we use that for the specific heat of the solution. Substituting these values gives:

q solution = ( 4.184 J/g °C ) ( 1.0 × 10 2 g ) ( 28.9 °C 22.0 °C ) = 2.89 × 10 3 J

Finally, since we are trying to find the heat of the reaction, we have:

q reaction = q solution = −2.89 × 10 3 J

The negative sign indicates that the reaction is exothermic. It produces 2.89 kJ of heat.

Check your learning

When 100 mL of 0.200 M NaCl( aq ) and 100 mL of 0.200 M AgNO 3 ( aq ), both at 21.9 °C, are mixed in a coffee cup calorimeter, the temperature increases to 23.5 °C as solid AgCl forms. How much heat is produced by this precipitation reaction? What assumptions did you make to determine your value?


1.34 × 10 3 J; assume no heat is absorbed by the calorimeter, no heat is exchanged between the calorimeter and its surroundings, and that the specific heat and mass of the solution are the same as those for water

Thermochemistry of hand warmers

When working or playing outdoors on a cold day, you might use a hand warmer to warm your hands ( [link] ). A common reusable hand warmer contains a supersaturated solution of NaC 2 H 3 O 2 (sodium acetate) and a metal disc. Bending the disk creates nucleation sites around which the metastable NaC 2 H 3 O 2 quickly crystallizes (a later chapter on solutions will investigate saturation and supersaturation in more detail).

The process NaC 2 H 3 O 2 ( a q ) NaC 2 H 3 O 2 ( s ) is exothermic, and the heat produced by this process is absorbed by your hands, thereby warming them (at least for a while). If the hand warmer is reheated, the NaC 2 H 3 O 2 redissolves and can be reused.

A series of three photos is shown. There are two right-facing arrows connecting one photo to the next. The first photo shows a chemical hand warmer. It is a bag that contains a clear, colorless liquid. There is a white disk located to the right inside the bag. The second photo shows the same thing, except the white disc has become a white, cloudy substance. The third photo shows the entire bag filled with this white substance.
Chemical hand warmers produce heat that warms your hand on a cold day. In this one, you can see the metal disc that initiates the exothermic precipitation reaction. (credit: modification of work by Science Buddies TV/YouTube)

Another common hand warmer produces heat when it is ripped open, exposing iron and water in the hand warmer to oxygen in the air. One simplified version of this exothermic reaction is 2 Fe ( s ) + 3 2 O 2 ( g ) Fe 2 O 3 ( s ) . Salt in the hand warmer catalyzes the reaction, so it produces heat more rapidly; cellulose, vermiculite, and activated carbon help distribute the heat evenly. Other types of hand warmers use lighter fluid (a platinum catalyst helps lighter fluid oxidize exothermically), charcoal (charcoal oxidizes in a special case), or electrical units that produce heat by passing an electrical current from a battery through resistive wires.

Questions & Answers

what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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The eyes of some reptiles are sensitive to 850 nm light. If the minimum energy to trigger the receptor at this wavelength is 3.15 x 10-14 J, what is the minimum number of 850 nm photons that must hit the receptor in order for it to be triggered?
razzyd Reply
A teaspoon of the carbohydrate sucrose contains 16 calories, what is the mass of one teaspoo of sucrose if the average number of calories for carbohydrate is 4.1 calories/g?
ifunanya Reply
4. On the basis of dipole moments and/or hydrogen bonding, explain in a qualitative way the differences in the boiling points of acetone (56.2 °C) and 1-propanol (97.4 °C), which have similar molar masses
Kyndall Reply
Calculate the bond order for an ion with this configuration: (?2s)2(??2s)2(?2px)2(?2py,?2pz)4(??2py,??2pz)3
Gabe Reply
Which of the following will increase the percent of HF that is converted to the fluoride ion in water? (a) addition of NaOH (b) addition of HCl (c) addition of NaF
Tarun Reply
Practice Key Terms 6

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Source:  OpenStax, Ut austin - principles of chemistry. OpenStax CNX. Mar 31, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11830/1.13
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