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Basic Chemistry Thermodynamics: Solve the challenge of storing renewable energy Virtual Lab

Learn the core concepts of thermodynamics and apply the technique of bomb calorimetry to help solve the challenge of storing renewable energy.

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About this Simulation

Energy is one of the great subject matters of our time, but what is energy actually? In this simulation you will learn the fundamental thermodynamic concepts of enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy. You will also determine the internal energy of a chemical compound by using bomb calorimetry, and you’ll even travel inside the calorimeter to see it in action!

The challenge of storing energy

What is the best way to store energy? There is no simple answer, but in this simulation, you will be encouraged to give it some thought while learning about the very nature of energy and how it connects to chemical reactions. You will assess whether the gasoline component octane is a suitable chemical for energy storage by using a bomb calorimeter.

The fundamental concepts of thermodynamics

The first and second laws of thermodynamics and the core concepts of enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy are introduced in this simulation. You can play around with the energy levels of reactants and products on a virtual energy surface to learn about endothermic and exothermic reactions. The concept of reaction spontaneity is linked to the concept of Gibbs free energy and its temperature dependence is explored in an interactive game. You will have access to a state-of-the-art bomb calorimeter and can travel inside to see it in action, in order to really be able to understand how it works. From here the concept of chemical bond energy is linked to the thermodynamic calculations of enthalpy on the calorimeter output.

Combine theory and practice

Throughout the simulation you will combine the fundamental teachings of thermodynamics with the experimental results from the calorimeter.

Will you be able to suggest a solution for the energy storage challenge?

Simulation features

Length:

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42

mins

Accessibility mode:

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Available

Languages:

English (United States)

Spanish

French

German

Italian

Course Packages:

General Chemistry (101 and 102)
General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry I
Intro Chemistry (100)
General Biology (101 and 102)
High School Chemistry
Chemistry for Engineers

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Define the core thermodynamics concepts of entropy, enthalpy, and free Gibbs energy, and their units

  • Explain the first and second laws of thermodynamics

  • Understand and apply the concept of reaction spontaneity

  • Explain the differences between the enthalpy of combustion, and enthalpy of formation

  • Understand the relationship between internal energy and enthalpy

  • Present Hess’s law in connection with performing enthalpy change calculations

  • Present the concepts of exothermic and endothermic reactions

Techniques in Lab

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to:

  • Calorimetry

Explore:

Basic Chemistry Thermodynamics: Solve the challenge of storing renewable energy

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