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Hello! When you are given that the reaction is exothermic, then the reaction produces heat. In this case you can think of the addition of heat (whether endothermic or exothermic) as a product or a reactant in the reaction. You would essentially treat heat like you would with concentrations. If heat is a product (meaning that rxn is exothermic), then the addition of heat "raises the concentration of heat as a product" and then the reaction would proceed to produce more reactants. Similarly, if heat is a reactant (meaning that the rxn is endothermic and requires heat to complete the rxn), then the addition of heat "raises the concentration of heat as a reactant" and then the rxn would proceed to produce more products. I hope this helps!
ALegala_2I wrote:Does this mean that cooling an exothermic reaction will favor the products?
By "cooling," I assume you mean removing heat, so yes, cooling an exothermic reaction will remove the heat "on the product side" and will therefore favor the products (shift right).
To remember this concept easily, you can think of this in simplified terms: You can think of heat as a reactant in endothermic reactions, and a product in exothermic reactions. Thus, if you increase the temperature (adding heat) to an exothermic reaction, you will favor the reactants, just like with other reactions. Then, if you cool it by removing heat from an exothermic reaction, you will favor the products, just like with other reactions.
It is part of LeChatlier's Principle: adding heat to a reaction will favor the other side of the reaction (wherever "heat" is added- reactant or product side). Exothermic reactions have "+heat" on the products side, therefore increasing the heat (or adding more heat) will favor the other side -- the reactants.
Using Le'Chatlier's principle, the system will work to counteract the changes brought upon it. Therefore, heating the reaction favors the reactants, as this uses up the heat. Conversely, cooling the reaction favors the products, as it would release heat, restoring the initial state.
Exothermic reactions release heat when temperature increases, that heat is then favored towards the reactants where the heat is being absorbed. It also increases the product, so the reactants must increase to compensate for the rise in products.
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