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Thread: Energy liberation during chemical reactions

  1. #1 Energy liberation during chemical reactions 
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    Which chemical reactions liberate the largest amount of energy?

    I'm currently fascinated by chemistry.

    Anything about interesting or useful chemichal reactions is welcome, thanks.


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Bonds between nitrogen atoms tend to have a lot of energy, especially multiple bonds between nitrogen atoms. That is why you find these in many explosives. Or in chemicals which just like to explode.

    For some entertaining stories, take a look at this blog: In the Pipeline:

    These are mostly compounds which are ridiculously unstable or smell so bad that your own mother would be heading the posse to run you out of town.

    Owing to the extreme instablity of the compound accurate determinations of the boiling and melting points have not been made as yet. Numerous explosions, often without assignable cause, have occurred during the experiments...
    Attempts to crack this to thioacetone monomer itself have been made - ah, but that's when people start diving out of windows and vomiting into wastebaskets, so the quality of the data starts to deteriorate.
    a stopper jumped from a bottle of residues, and, although replaced at once, resulted in an immediate complaint of nausea and sickness from colleagues working in a building two hundred yards away


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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Bonds between nitrogen atoms tend to have a lot of energy, especially multiple bonds between nitrogen atoms. That is why you find these in many explosives. Or in chemicals which just like to explode.
    So in these covalently bonded chems, is it basically the same principle as nuclear reactions... what triggers the rapid degeneration of the mollecule?

    They are already unstable... so what trigers the breakdown?

    So far I understand that when a proton is added to certain molecules they become unstable and decay (nuclear reaction?)... but these are already unstable molecules... can it be oxidation that causes them to eplode? if one comes into contact with an extra O or C then it can boom creating a reaction?

    or is it the combing together of two large molecules like this that causes a boom...?

    I understand its probably a variety of things...

    Since we'r talking about covalently bonded molecules then presumably the introduction of a charge can set the reaction of in unstable compounds...?

    Somebody once told me how to make a napalm... I'v never been tempted to experiment.

    What is a sulphate? something to do with a sulphur? what is a sulpher?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    So in these covalently bonded chems, is it basically the same principle as nuclear reactions...
    Not really. Different forces, different particles, different levels of energy.

    what triggers the rapid degeneration of the mollecule? They are already unstable... so what trigers the breakdown?
    It varies. Heat, physical shock, another chemical, electricity... Or, as in some of those articles, absolutely nothing.


    So far I understand that when a proton is added to certain molecules they become unstable and decay (nuclear reaction?)...
    Careful. If you are talking protons, then you are normally talking nuclear reactions, not chemical. Remember: neutrons and proton = nuclear reactions; atoms and electrons = chemical reactions.

    Although, because hydrogen ions are protons, they do get mentioned in chemistry as well.

    but these are already unstable molecules... can it be oxidation that causes them to eplode? if one comes into contact with an extra O or C then it can boom creating a reaction?
    Usually, in the case of really unstable explosive materials, they just break apart into simpler molecules. For example silver fulminate (which is will go bang if you touch it with a feather) breaks down into silver, carbon-monoxide and nitrogen. The reason this is an explosion is because most of the resulting material are gases, which obviously have a much, much greater volume than the solid form. And so it expands rapidly making a loud bang.

    What is a sulphate? something to do with a sulphur? what is a sulpher?
    Sulphur is another element (a pale yellow solid with an interesting smell). It forms many compounds (it is an essential part of the diet in small amounts). A sulphate is a combination of "something" (typically a metal) with sulphur and oxygen. For example, copper sulphate (bright blue, you might have seen it? Use for treating fungal infections in plants...) is copper plus sulphur plus oxygen: CuSO4.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    What is a sulphate? something to do with a sulphur? what is a sulpher?
    Sulphur is another element (a pale yellow solid with an interesting smell). It forms many compounds (it is an essential part of the diet in small amounts). A sulphate is a combination of "something" (typically a metal) with sulphur and oxygen. For example, copper sulphate (bright blue, you might have seen it? Use for treating fungal infections in plants...) is copper plus sulphur plus oxygen: CuSO4.
    ok sulpher... atomic mass 32, atomic number 16
    This means there are 16 hydrogen atoms (or protons with electrons if you prefer) and 16 neutrons... which totals 32... plus a bit of mass for electrons give it an atomic mass of 32.065. Is that correct?

    I know sulpher smells eggy and is realesed in a bogg or ditch, decomposition of organic matter releases sulpher as a gas.

    Interesting that a sulphate has oxygen, yet it isnt an oxide. Can sulpher or sulphates oxidise by exposure to extra oxygen? which would cause the sulpher to decay.
    presumable copper sulphate can oxidize?

    The reason I asked about sulphate is becuase i'm familiar with Sulphate of iron used as an acidifying plant nutrient. Sulphate of iron is an isotope of iron?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    ok sulpher... atomic mass 32, atomic number 16
    OK.

    This means there are 16 hydrogen atoms (or protons with electrons if you prefer) and 16 neutrons...
    There are NOT 16 hydrogen atoms. There are 16 protons and neutrons in the nucleus. There are 16 electrons outside the nucleus.

    which totals 32... plus a bit of mass for electrons give it an atomic mass of 32.065. Is that correct?
    Not quite. The relative atomic mass is just based on the number of protons and neutrons. The reason it is not 32 is because sulphur exists as several isotopes (with different numbers of neutrons, remember). So, the 32.065 is the average based on the naturally occurring mixture of isotopes.

    I know sulpher smells eggy and is realesed in a bogg or ditch, decomposition of organic matter releases sulpher as a gas.
    That is actually hydrogen sulphide (a compound of hydrogen and sulphur). I think sulphur by itself smells quite nice. But that might just be me.

    Interesting that a sulphate has oxygen, yet it isnt an oxide.
    An oxide is a compound of "something" with oxygen: carbon dioxide; water (hydrogen oxide); rust (iron oxide); sulphur dioxide (a really noxious gas); and so on...

    Can sulpher or sulphates oxidise by exposure to extra oxygen?
    No (not in general). Although you can remove oxygen and then get a sulphite.

    which would cause the sulpher to decay.
    Sulphur does not decay (well, there are some radioactive isotopes which decay but you don't really find them in nature).

    presumable copper sulphate can oxidize?
    I don't think so.

    The reason I asked about sulphate is becuase i'm familiar with Sulphate of iron used as an acidifying plant nutrient. Sulphate of iron is an isotope of iron?
    No, it is a compound of iron, sulphur and oxygen: FeSO4.
    question for you likes this.
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    suggest you start by READING a basic inorganic chemistry text.most of your questions are irrational
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    Geo
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    That's what bombs are designed to do. Liberate.

    Piss off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzlooney View Post
    suggest you start by READING a basic inorganic chemistry text.
    Thanks I will try to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by fizzlooney View Post
    most of your questions are irrational
    In what sense? I learnt from the answers I was given. That was the reason for my questions. Seems rational enough to me.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo View Post
    That's what bombs are designed to do. Liberate.
    Bombs don't liberate, they kill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo View Post
    Piss off.
    Direct insult from user to another with no punishments or warnings from any authority figures. Use of word widely accepted as an offensive 'swear' word.

    Vulgar behaviour permitted, effectively encouraged.

    I hope I get away with it next time I feel like insulting somebody.

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