Difference Between Endothermic vs Exothermic

Difference Between Endothermic vs Exothermic

Movement is a very intricate aspect of life and existence in general. The world is full of life, and life is all about interactions in a never-ending circle of existence. This existence is powered by scientific interactions, and every reaction takes place either when force is absorbed from the surroundings in the form of heat or when it is released from a system into the surroundings.

In this article, we will discuss endothermic vs exothermic, their definitions, differences, and similarities. We will also include a comparison table to show how these two forms of chemical procedures compare to one another.

Definition of Endothermic

Endothermic is defined as a form of chemical process where a system internalizes energy from its surroundings in the form of heat to start and complete a certain chemical process. This term was coined from two different words. These are “endo,” which means “internal,” and “thermic,” which means “relating to heat.”

One key way to know if a certain process can be classified as endothermic is if the temperature drops notably enough to cause some chemical changes. In this process, the reactants absorb thermal force, which initiates a chemical process that results in products that are more powerful than the reactants. Here are some examples to show the difference between endothermic and exothermic reactions.

  • The process of melting ice cubes

When you apply heat to ice cubes, they absorb the heat, which initiates a progression that converts the ice cubes to a liquid form or water. If you continue to apply heat, the chemical process continues until the water starts to boil. At this point, it is converted into water vapor.

  • Photosynthesis

In this instance, the chlorophyll present in green plants internalizes energy from the sun, which is used to convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen, which serves as their strength.

  • Dissolving ammonium chloride in water

When salt is added to water, it starts to dissolve, and the temperature of the water drops. This is because the salt absorbs heat from the water in order to melt, leaving the water colder than before the activity took place.

Definition of Exothermic

An exothermic reaction is defined as a procedure that requires the release of energy from a system, usually in the form of heat, as a result of the chemical process. The term is coined from “exo,” which means “external,” and “thermic,” which stands for “heat.” Obviously, “exo” is the opposite of “endo.”

A key way of determining the difference between exothermic vs endothermic is that in the case of exothermic, the temperature increases. The reactants might get warmer or even too hot to touch depending on the intensity of the process. Another key feature of this process is that new and often irreversible products are formed at the end of the process.

Here are a few examples.

  • Combustion

In this process, the reactants react with oxygen to give off heat to the surroundings. Some instances include burning wood, cigarettes, and candles.

  • Respiration

This takes place when the cells in the human body or in animals obtain strength through the combination of oxygen and glucose, which results in the release of water, glucose, and ATP.

  • Uncorking a champagne bottle

This is an explosion that takes place as a result of an excess build-up of strength in the bottle.

Main Differences Between Endothermic vs Exothermic

Basis of ComparisonEndothermicExothermic
DefinitionA system internalizes energy from its surroundings in the form of heat to start and complete a certain chemical processThe release of energy from a system, usually in the form of heat, as a result of a chemical process
Etymology Endo in Greek means inside, and thermasi means to heatExo in Greek means outside, and thermasi means to heat
EnergyThermal energy is absorbedThermal energy is released
Examples– Melting of ice cubes
– Melting salt in water
– Photosynthesis  
– Explosion
– Respiration
– Combustion

Difference Between Endothermic and Exothermic: Conclusion

Discussions about endothermic vs exothermic reactions are bound to pop up in the world of science when explaining internal and external phenomena respectively. One thing these two have in common is that they involve the use of heat most of the time and that they often result in products that are entirely different from the reactants, which might be irreversible in some cases.