The Gibbs Free Energy of a Chemical Reaction System as a Function of the Extent of Reaction and the Prediction of Spontaneity©
Arthur Ferguson
Department of Chemistry
Worcester State College
48806 Chandler Street
Wocester, MA 01602-2597
United States
mail to: AFerguson@worcester.edu

Students often have a very simplistic idea of the relationship between the value of ΔG0 for a reaction and its spontaneity: if ΔG0 is negative, the reaction is spontaneous; if it is positive, the reaction is not spontaneous and in fact is anti spontaneous, going spontaneously in the reverse direction. This exercise is designed to help students develop a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between ΔG0rxn and spontaneity through the creation of a graph of G for a reaction mixture vs. the extent of reaction, z, and an exploration of how the shape of that graph is affected by the value of ΔG0rxn.
Editor's Commentary
Audiences: Upper-Division Undergraduate
Pedagogies: Computer-Based Learning
Domains: Physical Chemistry
Topics: Equilibrium, Mathematics / Symbolic Mathematics, Thermodynamics
File NameDescriptionSoftware TypeSoftware Version
Gibbs Free Energy and Reaction Spontaneity 2001i.mcd JCE Mathcad 2001i Computational Document Mathcad 2001i
Gibbs Free Energy and Reaction Spontaniety.pdf Read-Only Document.
Gibbs Reaction Spontaniety8.mcd JCE Mathcad 8 Computational Document Mathcad 8
JCE JCE Subscribers only: name and password or institutional IP number access required.
Ferguson, Arthur. J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 606.
Comments to: Arthur Ferguson at AFerguson@worcester.edu
©Copyright 2004 Journal of Chemical Education