Problem: The explosive nitroglycerin (C3H5N3O9) decomposes rapidly upon ignition or sudden impact according to the following balanced equation: 4 C3H5N3O9(l) → 12 CO2(g) + 10 H2O(g) + 6 N2(g) + O2(g), ΔH˚rxn = –5678 kJ. Calculate the standard enthalpy of formation ( H˚f) for nitroglycerin.

FREE Expert Solution

We are asked to calculate the standard enthalpy of formation ( H˚f) for nitroglycerin.


Balanced reaction: 

4 C3H5N3O9(l) → 12 CO2(g) + 10 H2O(g) + 6 N2(g) + O2(g), ΔH˚rxn = –5678 kJ


ΔH°rxn=ΔH°f, prod-ΔH°f, react


Note that we need to multiply each ΔH˚f by the stoichiometric coefficient since ΔH˚f is in kJ/mol. 

Also, note that ΔH˚f for elements in their standard state is 0.



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Problem Details
The explosive nitroglycerin (C3H5N3O9) decomposes rapidly upon ignition or sudden impact according to the following balanced equation: 4 C3H5N3O9(l) → 12 CO2(g) + 10 H2O(g) + 6 N2(g) + O2(g), ΔH˚rxn = –5678 kJ. Calculate the standard enthalpy of formation ( H˚f) for nitroglycerin.

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