Explain why, in terms of the energy involved in bond breaking and bond making, the combustion of methane is exothermic.

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he breaking of chemical bonds never releases energy to the external environment. Energy is only released when chemical bonds are formed. In general, a chemical reaction involves two steps: 1) the original chemical bonds between the atoms are broken, and 2) new bonds are formed. These two steps are sometimes lumped into one event for simplicity, but they are really two separate events. For instance, when you burn methane (natural gas) in your stove, the methane is reacting with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water.

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