Problem: Top fuel dragsters and funny cars burn nitromethane as fuel according to the following balanced combustion equation: 2 CH3NO2(l) + 3/2 O2(g) → 2 CO2(g) + 3 H2O(l) + N2(g), ΔH˚rxn = –1418 kJ. The standard enthalpy of combustion for nitromethane is –709.2 kJ/mol. Calculate the standard enthalpy of formation (ΔH˚f) for nitromethane.

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FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the standard enthalpy change of formation (ΔH˚f) for nitromethane


Recall that ΔH˚rxn can be calculated from the enthalpy of formation (ΔH˚f) of the reactants and products involved: 

H°rxn=H°f,products- H°f,reactants



We are given with the following information:

  • 2 CH3NO2(l) + 3/2 O2(g) → 2 CO2(g) + 3 H2O(l) + N2(g)                ΔH˚rxn = –1418 kJ
  • Enthalpy of combustion of 1 mole of nitromethane: -709.2 kJ/mol
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Problem Details

Top fuel dragsters and funny cars burn nitromethane as fuel according to the following balanced combustion equation: 2 CH3NO2(l) + 3/2 O2(g) → 2 CO2(g) + 3 H2O(l) + N2(g), ΔH˚rxn = –1418 kJ. The standard enthalpy of combustion for nitromethane is –709.2 kJ/mol. Calculate the standard enthalpy of formation (ΔH˚f) for nitromethane.