Energy is used in any type of reaction that causes a substance to change its phase. When heating a solid, energy is put into the substance, causing the substance to gain energy. If heating continues on the solid, a phase transition will occur and the solid will melt to a liquid. The amount of heat required to melt a solid into a liquid is an enthalpy, and is called heat of fusion. If the heating continues on the liquid, the substance will then reach its boiling point, and a phase change will occur again from a liquid to a gas. When a phase change from a liquid to a gas occurs, the change is known as the heat of vaporization. In some cases, a substance converts straight from a solid to a gas, called the heat of sublimation.

In the lab, each group conducted experiments to determine the heat of fusion of ice, the heat of vaporization of nitrogen, and the heat of sublimation of CO2 (dry ice).


Observations and Data:

Part 1:

Table 1: Mass of Nested Pairs of Styrofoam Cups

Pair 1Pair 2
3.63 g3.73 g

Table 2: Heat of Fusion of Ice to Water

QuantityTrial 1Trial 2Trial 3
m[H2O (l)]51.2 g46.8 g59.3 g
m[H2O (s)]20.0 g21.1 g22.6 g
Ti[H2O (l)]54.0° C50.0° C57.0° C
Ti [H2O (s)]0.00° C0.00° C0.00° C
Tf[H2O (l & s)]20.0° C19.9° C28.3° C
ΔT[H2O (l)]-34.0° C-30.1° C-28.7° C
ΔT [H2O (s)]20° C19.9° C28.3° C
ΔHfus[H2O (l)]8 kJ/mol7 kJ/mol8 kJ/mol

Part 2:

Table 3: Heat of Vaporization of Liquid Nitrogen to Gas

QuantityTrial 1Trial 2Trial 3
m[H2O (l)]63.1 g58.7 g61.4 g
m[N2 (l)]41.0 g40.9 g39.0 g
Ti[H2O (l)]57.0° C58.2° C60.5° C
Tf[H2O (l)]29.1° C26.3° C29.5° C
ΔT[H2O (l)]-27.9° C-31.9° C-31.0° C
ΔHvap[H2O (l)]-5.0 kJ/mol____ kJ/mol____ kJ/mol

Part 3:

Table 4: Heat of Sublimation of CO2

QuantityTrial 1Trial 2Trial 3
m[H2O (l)]59.4 g62.6 g52.6 g
m[CO2]15.2 g15.0 g15.7 g
Ti[H2O (l)]54.9° C54.9° C60.3° C
Tf[H2O (l)]19.0° C19.1° C17.9° C
ΔT[H2O (l)]35.9° C35.8° C42.4° C
ΔHsub[H2O (l)]26.9 kJ/mol____ kJ/mol____ kJ/mol

Sample Calculations:



To determine the heat of fusion, the group heated 250 mL of water to approximately 55°-65° C. Then, 60 mL of the heated water was poured into one pair of nested Styrofoam cups. The initial mass was recorded. Then, 20 g of ice was added to the heated water. The initial and final temperatures were recorded, as well as the final mass. This process was repeated two times to ensure repetition and accurate results.

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "The Energy of Phase Changes Lab Explained," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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