What does it mean for an equilibrium to favor products or reactants?

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Alyssa_Hsu_2K
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:00 pm

What does it mean for an equilibrium to favor products or reactants?

Postby Alyssa_Hsu_2K » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:27 am

For example, I know that when K is large, there is a larger ratio of products to reactants, hence the reaction favors the product. However, I don't really know what " favors the product" means. After all, I thought to be in equilibrium is have the same rate of reverse and forward reactions. Hence, how can either the product or the reactant be favored?

Diana_Visco_1l
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:00 am

Re: What does it mean for an equilibrium to favor products or reactants?

Postby Diana_Visco_1l » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:54 am

When Kc>1 you can also say that kforward>kreverse and inversely if Kc<1 then k reverse>k forward. To favor either the reactants or the products in equilibrium is to say the formation of either the reactants or products is favored, as indicated by the rate constants. If a reaction is not at equilibrium, you can use the reaction quotient, Q, to see where the reaction is in the pathway. If Q > K, the reactants are favored. If Q < K, the products are favored. If Q = K, the reaction is at equilibrium. It's also important to realize that molecules never stop moving, even when equilibrium is reached. The larger the value for the equilibrium constant the more the reaction goes to completion. Irreversible reactions can be thought to have an infinite equilibrium constant so there are no reactants left.


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