Equilibrium in a System

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Seohyun Park 1L
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Equilibrium in a System

Postby Seohyun Park 1L » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:10 am

Will a chemical reaction within a system always head towards equilibrium, no matter the concentration of the reactants? If a reaction does always go to equilibrium, why do we say some reactions go to completion then?

Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 am

Re: Equilibrium in a System

Postby jonathanjchang2E » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:28 am

Yes, chemical reactions always head towards equilibrium even though it may take a long time to reach it. When reactions go to completion, they still reach equilibrium. It's just that the constant rate of the forward reaction is extremely greater than the constant rate of the reverse reaction, so much so that the reactants produced from the products has almost no time to stay a reactant until it is turned back into a product.

Sam Joslyn 1G
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Equilibrium in a System

Postby Sam Joslyn 1G » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:03 am

There are also reactions where saying that they reach equilibrium doesn't entirely make sense. This is a crude example, but when you burn wood (reactant), the product (ash, CO2, etc.) is never going to have a reverse reaction into wood. Some reactions go to completion, others reach a dynamic equilibrium, it just depends on the reaction.

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