Metals and Equilibria: Dynamic Equilibrium

Metals and Equilibria: Dynamic Equilibrium

  • Dynamic equilibrium is a state reached in a reversible reaction where the forward and reverse reactions take place at the same rate. Therefore, the concentration of the reactants and products does not change over time.

  • Understand that equilibrium is possible only in a closed system where no reactants or products can escape or be added.

  • A reversible reaction is indicated by the use of forward and reverse arrows instead of the usual one-way arrow.

  • The equilibrium symbol is used (double arrow: ⇌) to indicate that a reaction can proceed in both the forward and reverse directions.

  • In terms of chemical equations, a reversible reaction could be represented as A + B ⇌ C + D.

  • Learning the concept of Le Chatelier’s principle, which states that if a dynamic equilibrium is disrupted by changing the conditions, the position of equilibrium moves to counteract the change, is also necessary.

  • For instance, if the concentration of a reactant is increased, the equilibrium will shift to decrease it (making more product). Conversely, decreasing the concentration of a product or increasing the temperature (for an endothermic reaction) will shift the equilibrium to make more of that product.

  • Also, note that changing the temperature or pressure will have an impact on the equilibrium of a reaction. For high pressure, the reaction will favour the side with fewer gaseous molecules and for high temperature, it will favour the endothermic reaction.

  • It’s essential to familiarise yourself with diagrams and graphs that represent the changes in concentration over time in a reversible reaction to understand the concept of dynamic equilibrium.

  • Revisit and understand examples of real-world scenarios where dynamic equilibrium is crucial, such as the Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis or the production of methanol, as these are often used in questions.