12. Heat, Energy, and Chemical        Bonds   Previous PageNext Page
       Bond Energies

We must correct for the energy absorbed in taking these diatomic molecules apart:
H2(g) 2H(g, atoms)    DH = +52.1 kcal per mole of H atoms
O2(g) 2O(g, atoms)      DH = +59.2 kcal per mole of O atoms
The desired process and its DH can be determined from the previous reactions:


This is what we were after: the energy required to tear a water molecule apart, not into elements in their standard states, but into isolated atoms. Half of this total energy can then be ascribed to each bond, giving an O-H bond energy of 110.6 kcal per mole of bonds.

From calculations such as this, we can obtain the table of bond energies shown above. These bond energies are not perfect for any one molecule, but are the best average values for a great number of molecules with the same kind of bond.

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