Gibbs Free Energy - Entropy, Enthalpy & Equilibrium Constant K | Summary and Q&A

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March 30, 2021
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Gibbs Free Energy - Entropy, Enthalpy & Equilibrium Constant K

TL;DR

Gibbs free energy (ΔG) is a key factor in determining whether a reaction is spontaneous or non-spontaneous, with negative ΔG indicating spontaneity.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does it mean when ΔG is negative?

A negative ΔG indicates a spontaneous process, where the reaction can lower its energy and occur in a way that reaches the lowest possible energy state.

Q: When is ΔG equal to zero?

ΔG is zero at equilibrium, when a reversible process is taking place and the forward and reverse reactions occur at the same rate.

Q: When is ΔG greater than zero?

ΔG is greater than zero for non-spontaneous processes, indicating that energy needs to be inputted to drive the reaction forward.

Q: What is the maximum work that can be obtained from a spontaneous process?

The maximum work that can be obtained from a spontaneous process is equal to ΔG, as the process occurs in a way that releases energy.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Gibbs Free Energy (ΔG) is a measure of the energy available to do work in a system, and it determines whether a process is spontaneous or non-spontaneous.

  • ΔG is negative for spontaneous processes, indicating that the reaction can lower its energy and occur in a way that reaches the lowest energy state.

  • ΔG is zero at equilibrium, when a reversible process is taking place.

  • ΔG is positive for non-spontaneous processes, requiring the input of energy to drive the reaction forward.

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