“Exothermic processes” experiment
How to boil a liquid boil by mixing substances
In this experiment, you’ll find out about processes that take place with the release of heat. These processes surround us everywhere, from cooking food to heating the home. You’ll learn what these processes are from our video!
- Wear protective gloves, a mask and glasses.
- Observe safety rules when working with concentrated acids.
- When preparing solutions of acids, acid must be added to water, not water to acid.
Warning! Don’t try to repeat this experiment without a professional supervision!
Reagents and equipment:
- test tube;
- acetone (5 ml);
- water (70 ml);
- concentrated sulfuric acid (50 ml);
Many reactions and processes take place with the release of heat, and are called exothermic. Thanks to the combustion (or oxidation) reaction, we can heat our homes and cook food by burning fuel. But there are processes in which there is no combustion. One of them is the dissolution of acids in water.
In the dissolution of sulfuric acid in water, enough heat is released to make the acetone (which has a boiling point of 56 °C (133 °F) in the test tube boil, and there will be enough vapors to ignite. The combustion of acetone is an exothermic reaction.
One should distinguish between an exothermic process and an exothermic reaction. In an exothermic process (dissolution of acid), the chemical composition does not change, but in a reaction (combustion of acetone), acetone burns with the formation of carbon dioxide and water:
СН₃-С(О)-СН₃ + 4О₂ = 3СО₂ + 3Н₂О