Reversible Expansion vs Irreversible Expansion

$\Delta U=q+w$

Tasnia Haider 1E
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:01 am

Reversible Expansion vs Irreversible Expansion

Why does a reversible expansion do more work than an irreversible expansion?

Clarisse Wikstrom 1H
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Re: Reversible Expansion vs Irreversible Expansion

Example...
Irreversible: 4 atm --> 2 atm
Reversible (@ equilibrium): 3 atm --> 3 atm

Which one does more work, the one pushing on 2 atm or the one pushing on 3 atm? @ equilibrium, the system is theoretically doing the max work it can. That's why reversible reactions do not often occur in biological systems.