One of the many parameters which come into play when using metals and compounds in manufacturing and chemical research, is the specific heat capacity. Be it a chemistry experiment or the use of metals in a foundry, one needs to have accurate information about the specific heat capacities of certain metals and compounds. The aim of this Buzzle article is to present a specific heat capacity table, and also present a brief explanation of what is specific heat capacity.
Specific Heat Capacity: Definition
By definition, the specific heat capacity of a substance is the amount of heat that needs to be supplied to a unit mass of that substance to raise its temperature through one degree Celsius or Kelvin. The value of specific heat of any substance depends on internal structure of molecules that make the substance. Since temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of substance, the amount of heat required to raise temperature of a substance, is directly proportional to its internal degrees of freedom. More the degrees of freedom, more is the specific heat capacity of the element or compound.
This value of the heat required to raise the temperature of a single gram of any substance is either measured at constant volume or constant pressure. Both values differ substantially and the specific heat capacity at constant pressure (cp) is always greater than specific heat capacity at constant volume (cv). The unit of specific heat capacity is joules per gram degree Kelvin (J /g K). When heat capacity is measured per mole of a substance, instead of per gram, it is known as molar heat capacity. For example the molar heat capacity. The value of molar heat capacity is always larger than specific heat capacity of the same substance.
Specific Heat Capacity Table of Metals
After that brief explanation of what is specific heat capacity, we get down to the prime objective of writing this article. The table presented below, presents the specific heat capacity of some metals at constant pressure (cp). The point to be noted here, is that the values presented here are the specific heat capacity values of metals at 25 degree Celsius.
Metal Element Specific Heat Capacity at Constant Pressure (25° Celsius) J / g K
Specific Heat Capacity Table of Certain Compounds
After that listing of specific heat capacity values at constant pressure for metals, here is a listing for compounds at 25o Celsius. It’s not possible to present values for all compounds. So I have focused on presenting specific heat capacity values of compounds and mixtures which are most commonly used.
Compound/Mixture Specific Heat Capacity at Constant Pressure (25° Celsius) J/g K
Air at 0° Celsius 1.0035
Hydrogen Sulfide 1.015
Methane at 2° Celsius 2.191
Paraffin Wax 2.5
Solid Polyethylene 2.3027
Ice (-10° Celsius) 2.11
Water (25° Celsius) 4.1813
Ethyl Alcohol at 20° Celsius 2.4
Hope the above specific heat capacity table was a useful reference. If you don’t find the specific heat capacity of a chemical element or compound listed in the above table, I suggest that you consult scientific journals which list such parameters for every compound or element. Since heat capacities of compounds are not exact constants, you will need to refer a table of measured specific heat capacities of a substance at different temperatures, in that case, which again can only be found in science journals.