Shift in Equilibria

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Shift in Equilibria

Postby Elle_Bertuccelli_1B » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:29 pm

When equilibria shifts, what occurs to the reactants and products from which it is shifting?

For example, if we decrease the pressure of one of the reactants, the equilibria will shift left in order to try to replace the lost pressure. Does this shift mean the pressure of the products will decrease?

Thank you!

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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:00 am

Re: Shift in Equilibria

Postby bridgetfoy_1D » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:23 pm

A shift in equilibria means that either the reactant side or product side has too much substance and therefore more reaction will take place in order for the overall reaction to remain in a balanced equilibria (which means the amount chemically reacting from reactants to products is equal to the opposite reaction of products to reactants).

Decreasing the pressure is a more tricky example because the effect is dependent on the number of moles of gas on each side. Or if you are dealing with nongaseous reactants/products, I think you would have to plug the pressure into PV=nRT to solve how the temperature would be affected and see whether heat is added or released.

Perhaps you look at decreasing the amount of reactant instead. This would cause the equilibria to shift left to replace the lost amount of reactant, causing the amount of product to decrease because it is being used up in a reaction to form the additional reactant we just found that we needed.

I hope this helps!

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