C3: Comparing the energy released by fuels

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Comparing the energy released in fuels

  • When fuels and foods react with Oxygen the reactions are exothermic. Different amounts of energy are released by different fuels and foods. The amount of energy released is usually measured in joules(J), but sometimes values are given in calories (1 cal = 4.2J).
  • We can use a calorimeter to measure the amount of energy released when substances burn. The simplest calorimeter is some water in a glass beaker or a metal can. When a substance burns and heats the water, the temperature rise of the water depends on the amount of energy released.
  • The amount of energy released to the water can be calculated using the equation:          

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