Essay on How Does Chemical Reactions Affect The Environment?

1242 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
Chemical reactions can be categorized based on the release or absorption of energy. For instance, chemical reactions that release energy are known as exothermic reactions and have a positive change in enthalpy. Moreover, chemical reactions that absorb energy are endothermic, which have a negative change in enthalpy. Since the energy released is usually heat, keeping track of the heat flow in reactions will help determine the change in enthalpy of a reaction. Observing the measurement of heat changes is known as calorimetry; hence, in this lab a calorimeter was used to measure the changes in enthalpy. A calorimeter is well-designed when it is well insulated from the environment so there could be minimal to no heat change between the system and surroundings. In other words, calorimeter should be set up so the heat changes remain in the system itself. For this lab, a Styrofoam cup was used due to it being lightweight and therefore the heat absorbed by the cup would be negligible. Hence, we can assume the heat flow only occurs within the aqueous solution (KOH, HCl, and NaOH) and water.
Furthermore, since energy (heat) is either released or absorbed, there will also be a change in temperature; observing temperature changes allows us to measure how much heat is released or absorbed. In this lab, a probe was connected to a MeasureNet device, in which it recorded the change in temperature as a function over time. The data for each part was then saved under separate files on an…

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