Well, we have learned about chemical reactions and the types of chemical reactions in our previous lesson. We have also studied that an endothermic reaction absorbs energy. To read more about chemical reactions and endothermic reactions please click on the links. In this lesson we are trying to understand what an exothermic reaction or exothermic process is.
If an endothermic reaction was absorbing energy, usually in the form of heat, exothermic reaction or exothermic process emits energy. So, exothermic reactions are just opposite to endothermic reactions when it comes to handling energy. As exothermic reactions release energy (usually in the form of heat), the reactions cause heat or give out heat to its surroundings.
We have done an exothermic reaction using sulphuric acid and sugar. When using sulphuric acid or sulfuric acid on sugar cubes, the reaction causes the emission of extensive heat. This experiment is highly dangerous and we do not suggest children to do it at home.
Another common example is the burning of coal. When coal is burnt, an exothermic process is taken place to produce heat and carbon dioxide. The chemical equation for this process could be:
C(s) + O2(g) → CO2(g) + Heat energy
Well, that’s a simple lesson on exothermic reactions. If you have something more to share with others, please do write in the comments below.