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40.2: Introduction

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    Most of the substances you see around you are a combination of elements; they are compounds.  Many compounds contain similar elements, and 90% of compounds contain carbon.  When energy is added to a substance, the compounds can be broken into new substances which are the products of the chemical reaction.  As a candle (\(\ce{C25H52}\)) burns in the oxygen (\(\ce{O2}\)) provided by air, new substances will result.  When sugar (\(\ce{C12H22O11}\)) is heated, the molecule will split into three substances.  Both wax and sugar decompose into the same products.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): An oxygen molecule collides with the Paraffin molecule and reacts with that portion of the molecule.

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    40.2: Introduction is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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