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w=-nRTln(v2/v1) is for a Reversible rxn, w=-p(deltaV) is for Irreversible reaction, be careful though because whenever you use w=-PV your answer will not be in joules and you have to multiply by 101.325 to get to joules whereas the w=-nRTln(v2/v1) will already be in joules. The question should state whether the reaction is reversible or irreversible so just memorize which one goes with which
To add on, you use the equation, w = -nRT ln V2/V1, to calculate the total amount of work as the pressure equalizes at infinitesimally small intervals (it sums up the maximum amount of work that is able to be done). On the other hand, we use w = - P ∆V when dealing with irreversible/sudden expansion because it accounts only for the amount of work performed between 2 volumes (initial and final).
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