What is the purpose of endothermic reactions

Endothermic reaction

An endothermic reaction is a chemical reaction that absorbs energy from the environment. What exactly this is all about, we'll cover in this article. You are in the Basics of Chemistry section.

In this article we looked at the endothermic reaction. I will go into the important fundamentals of chemistry again in a moment in order to explain these relationships more clearly. However, if you have any major gaps in your previous knowledge, I advise you to read the following articles first:


Endothermic reaction properties

You should already know from chemistry lessons or our article "Activation Energy" that a so-called energy mountain has to be crossed for chemical reactions. Energy is thus supplied to various substances, so that a reaction occurs. In the following, an endothermic reaction will be considered. In an endothermic reaction, heat is absorbed from the environment. First of all, take a look at the following graphic, with which I would like to explain the context.

This is the course of an endothermic reaction. The energy is plotted on the vertical axis and the reaction time is plotted on the horizontal axis. The course says the following:

  • The starting materials have a certain amount of energy (energy level).
  • Energy is added to the raw materials, the energy increases.
  • Once the "mountain of energy" is reached, the reaction begins. The energy required for this is the so-called activation energy.
  • The end materials have more energy than the starting materials, as energy was absorbed from the environment.

Examples of endothermic reactions

We have just covered what an endothermic reaction is. A few more examples of endothermic reactions will now follow. In doing so, I stick to relatively simple examples, which are at least partly carried out in chemistry lessons.

Example 1: effervescent powder

Effervescent powder is a powder used to make fizzy effervescent. If a mixture of baking soda and tartaric acid or citric acid is added to water, baking soda and tartaric acid react with one another, producing sodium tartrate or sodium citrate as well as carbonic acid, which further breaks down into water and carbon dioxide, which makes the drink fizzy.

Example 2: gasification of coal

In special generators, air and steam are alternately supplied to a layer of coke. The supply of steam - also known as cold blowing - is endothermic. The chemical formula is: C + H2O → CO + H2


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