Physical chemistry - Essay Example

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Innovations in science and technology since the early 20th Century have lead to the development of certain standard and efficient procedures in the field of industrial chemistry. Although scientists are on the look out for better industrial processes, there exist some processes…
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Physical chemistry
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Download file to see previous pages An understanding of the Le Chateliers principle and catalysis is essential for proceeding with this study.
Increase in temperature: Exothermic reaction favours reactants, as the heat is absorbed to counterbalance the increase in temperature. Endothermic reaction favours products as the absorbed heat facilitates a larger amount of reactants to convert to products (Atkins & de Paula, 2006).
Change in reactant concentration: An increase in concentration of a reactant in a dynamic equilibrium causes the reaction to favour products, as the excess reactant reacts with other reactants. A decrease in concentration of a reactant favours the reverse reaction as the products are converted to reactants in order to balance the decrease in reactant concentration. (Clark, 2002; Morrison & Boyd, 1992)
Change in product concentration: A decrease in product concentration favours the forward reaction to balance the decrease. An increase in product concentration favours the reverse reaction. (Atkins & de Paula, 2006)
Change in pressure: Increasing the pressure of a system at equilibrium causes changes in the partial pressures of reactants and products. The rate constant is independent of the change in pressure of a system, but depends on ratio of partial pressures of the reactants and products. The reaction moves in the direction where number of moles is less. (Atkins & de Paula, 2006)
A catalyst accelerates a chemical reaction without undergoing a net chemical change. The catalyst reduces the energy of activation by altering the path of reaction to avoid the rate determining step, which is the slowest step in a reaction (Atkins & de Paula, 2006). For example, decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which is a slow reaction at room temperature, requires activation energy of 76 kJ/mol. In the presence of iodide ions, this activation energy drops to 57 kJ/mol and rate constant ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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