Thermodynamics of Chemical Equilibrium

Written by: Stephen Lower (Simon Fraser University)

Part of a larger work by Stephen Lower at Simon Fraser University, this chemical thermodynamics virtual textbook seeks to provide students with an introduction to classical thermodynamics. Lower believes that despite the volume of information that he is presenting here that first-year college students should be able to grasp the material and that it would be highly valuable to advanced physical chemistry students as well.

Table of Contents for Thermodynamics of Chemical Equilibrium

1 – Energy spreading drives spontaneous change
What is a spontaneous process?
Direction through disorder
Microstates are quantized
Energy-spreading changes the world
How chemical reactions spread energy around
Summary of key concepts
Concept map
2 – Entropy rules! …but what is entropy?
Reversible and irreversible changes
The physical meaning of entropy
Absolute entropies
Standard entropies of substances
Entropy depends on concentration
Summary of key concepts
Concept map
3 – The Second Law and the availability of energy
Why isn’t the First Law enough?
Entropy and spontaneous change
What is a heat engine?
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Summary of key concepts
Concept map
4 – Free energy and the Gibbs function
1 The Gibbs energy
2 Free energy and chemical change
3 The standard Gibbs free energy
4 ΔG and ΔG°: what’s the difference?
5 How to interpret ΔG° values
6 Some remarks about “free energy”
Summary of key concepts
Concept map
4B – Thermodynamics of mixing and dilution
1 Review: Entropy and concentration
2 Gibbs energy of a gas
3A Chemical reactions and mixing
3B Dilution and diffusion
3C Solute standard states and activity
5- Free energy and equilibrium
Down the free energy hill
The equilibrium constant
How temperature affects equilibrium
Heterogeneous reactions
Coupled reactions
Summary of key concepts
Concept map
6- Some applications of entropy and free energy
Colligative properties of solutions
Extraction of metals from their oxides
Acid-base reactions
Electron-transfer reactions
Thermodynamics of rubber bands
Summary of key concepts
Concept map

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Thermodynamics of Chemical Equilibrium

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