Gummy Bear Experiment Essay

1169 Words Jun 27th, 2009 5 Pages
Combustion of Gummy Bears

Energy is a concept.� Most definitions of the word energy fail to provide its exact meaning when applied to scientific matters.� In science the word energy is a concept that expresses two measurable properties, heat and work.� Here is the relationship of energy, heat and work:
Energy Released=Work Done + Heat Released
The Law of Conservation of Energy, derived from centuries of observation and measurement, indicates that energy cannot be created or destroyed. But energy need not stay in one place. Energy can be converted from one form to another and can be created in one place and show up in another. Remember that energy, in an open system, can do work on the surroundings or supply heat to the surroundings.�
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We often experiment under conditions where no work is done on or by the system.� The heat, evolved or required is the change in enthalpy. We use the change in enthalpy of the fuel-consuming chemical reactions to arrive at the energy that would be available. The amount of energy available from a given amount of fuel does not vary with how slow or fast we burn the fuel such as in exercise. Enthalpy itself is a state property. All materials have enthalpy as an element of their nature. It is the change in this property through chemical processes which concerns us. The oxidation of 0.5g of glucose yields a certain amount of energy regardless of how slow or fast the reaction takes place.� In the real world (during exercise for example), energy, work and heat, are produced in complex, changing systems.
The combustion of a gummy bear shows how a compound is broken down into an element and other compounds in the presence of a catalyst or heat. An organic carbon compound will combine with oxygen to give off carbon dioxide and water. An exothermic reaction releases different forms of energy. Sugar is a fuel that we use for energy. We can also use it to fuel a chemical reaction. As we heat the Potassium Chlorate this will release O2 gas and leave KCl as it starts to decompose as follows:
2KClO3(s) ? 2KCl(s) + 3O2 (g)
This produces oxygen which oxidizes the sugar (glucose) in the gummy bear. This oxidation is incredibly exothermic (-5000

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