Gibbs Free Energy of Chemical Reaction

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The Gibbs free energy change in a chemical reaction, , determines the spontaneity of the reaction. This is to be distinguished from the rate of reaction. When is negative, the reaction is exergonic and potentially spontaneous. When is positive, the reaction is endergonic and does not occur spontaneously. The instantaneous sum of the Gibbs free energies of the reactants and products is designated . Equilibrium is attained when is at a minimum, as a function of the extent of reaction .


The two graphs show the extent of the reaction and reaction coordinate. You can vary and using the sliders. The red dot shows the equilibrium point of the reaction.


Contributed by: Marc Cui, Alison Gery and Kate Pellegrino. Advised by: Dr. Heidi Hendrickson (May 8)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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