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Striking a match, Endothermic or Exothermic?

  1. Oct 15, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I was wondering whether striking a match is endothermic or exothermic.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    This seems quite straight forward as striking a match releases heat, which is obviously exothermic. However, the process of igniting the match requires heat in itself, so I was wondering since the reaction required heat, would it be endothermic instead? I read from a post somewhere that for a reaction to be endothermic, heat is absorbed for the reaction to occur. Since heat is required for the initial ignition of the match, wouldn't that be an endothermic reaction? As well, is the bolded statement correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2013 #2

    D H

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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    You are confusing the activation energy needed to trigger a reaction with whether the reaction is endothermic or exothermic. Since this is marked as homework, I'll leave it at that for now.
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