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7.17 Free Energy Change (DG)

The two thermodynamic quantities, which affect the spontaneity of a reaction, are enthalpy (H) and entropy (S). The free energy of a substance, like its entahlpy or entropy is a characteristic property of the substance. In any reaction, the change in free energy,

DG = GProducts – GReactants

For a reaction carried out at constant temperature and pressure,

Chemistry Course Help Order Now (i) If DG is negative, the forward reaction is spontaneous

(ii) If DG is positive, the forward reaction is non-spontaneous. Instead, the reverse reaction will be spontaneous.

(iii) If DG is zero, the system is at equilibrium. There is no tendency for the net reaction to take place in either direction.

Relation between DG, DH and DS

DG is made up of two terms; an energy term and an entropy term.


where T is the temperature in Kelvin. This equation tells us that the driving force for a reaction, DG, represents two quantities. One of these is the enthalpy change due to the making and breaking of bonds, DH. The other is the product of the change in randomness, DS times the absolute temperature T.

7.18 Standard Free Energy Change (DG°) and Eq. Constant (Keq)

DG° = – 2.303 RT log Keq

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