### Value of K

Posted:

**Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:37 pm**What does it mean when K is larger than 1 and smaller than 1?

Created by Dr. Laurence Lavelle

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/

https://lavelle.chem.ucla.edu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=123&t=39538

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Posted: **Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:37 pm**

What does it mean when K is larger than 1 and smaller than 1?

Posted: **Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:41 pm**

When K > 1, the equilibrium favors the formation of products. When k < 1, the equilibrium favors the decomposition back to reactants. When k=1, there is the same concentration of reactants and products.

Hope this helps!

Hope this helps!

Posted: **Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:03 pm**

When K is larger than 1, there are more products at equilibrium, so equilibrium favors products ("equilibrium sits to the right").

When K is smaller than 1, there are more reactants at equilibrium, so equilibrium favors reactants ("equilibrium sits to the left").

This is because when you calculate the equilibrium constant, K, you divide products over reactants. So if K is larger, the numerator (product) is more than the denominator (reactant).

When K is smaller than 1, there are more reactants at equilibrium, so equilibrium favors reactants ("equilibrium sits to the left").

This is because when you calculate the equilibrium constant, K, you divide products over reactants. So if K is larger, the numerator (product) is more than the denominator (reactant).

Posted: **Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:20 pm**

Typically a "small" value of K is < 10^-3 and a "large" value is > 10^3. Any K value in between is viewed as intermediate, in which neither reactants or products are favored.

Posted: **Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:45 am**

Think about the math behind what K actually is: a ratio of products to reactants. Therefore, when K=1, that means that the products and the reactants have an equal concentration/partial pressure (for example, 5/5=1). When K>1, that means that the ratio is "top-heavy" and there are more products than reactants (for example, 10/5=2). Similarly, when K<1, that means that the ratio is "bottom-heavy" and there are more reactants than products (for example, 5/10=0.5).

Posted: **Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:12 am**

K is a ratio of Products/Reactants (to think about it algebraically, say Products=a and Reactants=b). If K=1, then that means a/b=1, meaning a=b. If K>1, then a has to be greater than b in order to make the ratio larger than one, and if K<1, b has to be greater than a to make the ratio smaller.

Posted: **Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:31 pm**

When K is Larger than 1, the forward reaction is favored and more products are being produced.

When K is smaller than 1, the reverse reaction is favored and more reactants are being produced.

When K is smaller than 1, the reverse reaction is favored and more reactants are being produced.