maximum work

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Lindsey Chheng 1E
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:16 am

maximum work

Postby Lindsey Chheng 1E » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:25 pm

Since some of the energy released in chemical reactions is lost as heat, then is the term "maximum work" technically a theoretical explanation for an ideal situation where all the energy released from a reaction is used for work and none is lost as heat?

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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:17 am

Re: maximum work

Postby peteryim » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:29 pm

That's my understanding of it. Max work only occurs in a theoretical scenario, as does most of thermodynamics and chemistry, because real life situations are too complicated.

Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:15 am

Re: maximum work

Postby SnehinRajkumar1L » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:37 pm

Maximum work refers to when a system is undergoing reversible expansion. that is when the maximum amount of work is done.

Andres Merlos 2L
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:17 am

Re: maximum work

Postby Andres Merlos 2L » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm

Maximum work refers to work done by a system during a reversible reaction. As such, maximum work, when none is lost as heat, would be theoretical.

Sofia Barker 2C
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Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

Re: maximum work

Postby Sofia Barker 2C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:35 pm

I believe it is theoretical because no biological or chemical process is 100% energy efficient. Energy transfers are not perfect, so there will always be at least a small amount of it that becomes heat instead of 'useful' energy that can be used to do work.

Cole Woulbroun 1J
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

Re: maximum work

Postby Cole Woulbroun 1J » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:20 pm

Yes, maximum work is a theoretical expression. In actuality, you will likely have both a change in work and heat over the course of the reaction, as dU = q + w. Expressing the change in Gibbs free energy as maximum work is just a simpler way to describe it.

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