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Equilibrium in Chemical Processes

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Equilibrium in Chemical Processes - Lesson Summary

The chemical substances used at the initial stage during such transformation are called reactants, and the final chemical substances formed as a result of the chemical reaction are known as products.

The reactions whose products cannot be converted back into the reactants under any conditions are known as irreversible reactions.

Ex: Decomposition CaCO3 in open vessel.

CaCo3(s)   ∆ →   CaO(s) + Co2(g)

The reactions whose products under suitable conditions converted back into the reactants are known as reversible reaction.

Ex: Decomposition CaCO3 in closed vessel.

Reversible reactions are represented by a pair of half headed arrows ( ⇌ ).

In reversible reactions, the reaction in which the reactants react to give the products is called the forward reaction, and the reaction in which the products react back to give the reactants is called the backward reaction.

When a reversible reaction is carried out in a closed vessel a state is reached when the rate of the forward reaction becomes equal to the rate of the backward reaction. This stage is known as chemical equilibrium.


Some of the characteristics of chemical equilibrium:

a) Equilibrium state can be approached from both sides.

b) The equilibrium a dynamic equilibrium as both forward and backward reactions continue to take place with same speed.

c) At equilibrium state the properties such as pressure, concentration, density or colour remain unchanged with time.

d) Equilibrium is possible only in a closed system.

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