Multiplying Equilibrium Constants

$K = \frac{k_{forward}}{k_{reverse}}$

Ethan Vuong 3G
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Multiplying Equilibrium Constants

Can someone explain to me why during multistep reactions, when we add them we multiply the constants?

Michelle Chernyak 1J
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Multiplying Equilibrium Constants

Because we are combining two equations, we now have 2 equilibrium constants, each with a different set of products over a different set of reactants. It would be impossible to add the two equilibrium constants together without altering the reaction (simple math; you'd have to bring it to a common denominator to add and you can't really do that), so instead we multiply the equilibrium constants.

Hope this helps!