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Chemical Equilibrium: Constants, Temperature, Concentrations

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1. Describe the equilibrium constant in terms of the law of mass action and write equilibrium constant expression for multiple equilibria.

2. Relate the constants and equilibrium constants and describe how equilibrium varies with temperature.

3. Use equilibrium constants to predict the direction of a reaction towards equilibrium and calculate equilibrium concentrations.

4. Why is it important to study chemical equilibrium? In what industries might such knowledge be particularly useful? Explain your answer.

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The expert examines chemical equilibrium for constants, temperatures and concentrations.

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Chemical Equilibrium

1. The mass action law can be introduced by using a general chemical reaction equation in which reactants A and B react to give product C and D.

a A + b B --> c C + d D

where a, b, c, d are the coefficients for a balanced chemical equation.
The mass action law states that if the system is at equilibrium at a given temperature, then the following ratio is a constant.
[C]c [D]d
------------- = Keq
[A]a [B]b

The square brackets "[ ]" around the chemical species represent their concentrations. This is the ideal law of chemical equilibrium or law of mass action.

For the ionization of sulfuric acid the chemical equation is:

H2SO4 = 2 H+ + SO42-

What is the equilibrium constant expression?

The equilibrium constant is the products divided by reactants. We can model the equation above and we come up ...

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