Chemistry - Position of equilibrium and the equilibrium law
Position of equilibrium and the equilibrium law
Even though we now accept that reactions can occur in both directions -
left to right and right to left - we always refer to the species on the
left of the equation as the REACTANTS and the species on the right as the
The position of equilibrium refers to the extent of reaction - the
proportion of reactants converted into products when equilibrium is
The proportion of reactants converted to products before equilibrium is
established varies from equilibrium system to equilibrium system and, for
any particular equilibrium system, with temperature.
The greater the proportion of reactants converted to products when
equilibrium is established the further to the right lies the POSITION OF
Graph 2. represents a situation where the position of equilibrium lies
further to the right than in the situation represented in graph 1.
Many major industrial processes such as the production of sulfuric acid
require effective application (and modification) of equilibrium principles.
Such processes strive for positions of equilibrium that lie as far to the
right as is economically viable. The haemoglobin / oxygen equilibrium in
our bodies that ensures an adequate supply of oxygen to our cells for
respiration is most efficient when the position of equilibrium lies well to
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