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Andrew Voyles

IB Chemistry Assessment Statements: Topic 7: Equilibrium

7.1.1: A chemical or physical system in a state of equilibrium is


characterized by a closed system at constant temperature, whose
macroscopic properties (color, density, pH, etc) and concentrations of
reactants and products remain constant, and whose rate of forward
reaction equals the rate of the reverse reaction.

7.2.1: For a general homogeneous reaction, mA + nB  oC + pD, the


equilibrium constant expression, Kc = ([A]m[B]n)/([C]o[D]p). This
assumes that all reactant and products are either gases or aqueous
solutions. In a reactant or product which is either a solid or a liquid
does not appear in the equilibrium constant expression. The exception
to this is if all reactants and products are in the liquid phase, in which
case they will appear.

7.2.2: For the equilibrium constant expression Kc, if Kc is greater than


one, the reaction is product favored, and equilibrium lies closer to the
completion of the reaction. However, if it is less than one, the reaction
is reactant favored, and equilibrium lies closer to the reaction not
proceeding at all.

7.2.3: Effect of Temperature : The effect of a change of temperature on


a reaction will depend on whether the reaction is exothermic or
endothermic. When the temperature increases, Le Chatelier’s principle
says the reaction will proceed in such a way as to counteract this
change, i.e. lower the temperature. Therefore, endothermic reactions
will move forward, and exothermic reactions will move backwards (thus
becoming endothermic). The reverse is true for a lowering of
temperature.

Effect of Concentration : When the concentration of a product is


increased, the reaction proceeds in reverse to decrease the
concentration of the products. When the concentration of a reactant is
increased, the reaction proceeds forward to decrease the concentration
of reactants.

Effect of Pressure : In reactions where gases are produced (i.e. there


are more mols of gas on the right), an increase in pressure will force
the reaction to move to the left (in reverse). If pressure is decreased,
the reaction will proceed forward to increase pressure. If there are
more mols of gas on the left of the equation, this is all reversed.
7.2.4: A catalyst does not affect the position of equilibrium or the value
of Kc, it merely allows this position to be achieved more quickly.

7.2.5: N2(g) + 3H2(g) <=> 2NH3(g) : ΔH = -92.4 kJ mol-1


As can be seen, there are more mols of gas on the left than the right, so a greater yield
will be produced at high pressure. The reaction is exothermic, therefore it will give a
greater yield at low temperatures, however this is not possible as the rate of reaction
becomes too low, and the temperature must actually be increased. A catalyst of finely
divided iron is also used to help speed the reaction (finely divided to maximize the
surface area).

17.1.1: A liquid in an enclosed chamber will form an equilibrium with


it's own vapour. Fast moving particles in the liquid will escape from the
surface and become part of the vapour, but slow moving particles in
the vapour will be 'captured' by the liquid and become part of it. At a
certain vapor pressure, the number of particles escaping (or
evaporating) from the liquid will exactly equal the number being
captured by it, and so a dynamic equilibrium is formed between the
two. As the temperature increases, the average speed of particles is
higher. As a result, more particles will have sufficient speed to escape
the liquid, and fewer will be slow enough to be recaptured by the
liquid. This means that as temperature increases, the equilibrium vapor
pressure will also increase. This can be shown graphically with a graph
of pressure against temperature, where, as temperature increases, so
does pressure.

17.1.2:
As the temperature increases, the average speed of particles is higher.
As a result, more particles will have sufficient speed to escape the
liquid, and fewer will be slow enough to be recaptured by the liquid.
This means that as temperature increases, the equilibrium vapor
pressure will also increase.

17.1.3: A high boiling point and a high enthalpy of vaporization are


proportional to high intermolecular forces.