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The reaction enthalpy is the heat taken up or given off during a reaction which is the difference in enthalpies between the products and the reactants. The enthalpy of formation is the change in enthalpy between elements in their standard states to the compound they form.
A reaction enthalpy refers to the total heat emitted or absorbed by any chemical reaction at a constant pressure. The enthalpy of formation of a substance X refers to the change in heat that takes place when one mol of X is formed by its constituent elements in their standard states. In other words, reaction enthalpies concern any reaction while enthalpies of formation concern the formation of one mol of one specific substance.
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