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Equilibrium
Equilibrium is a state of balance in which nothing changes.

However, the system is dynamic, i.e. in constant motion.

As fast as the reactants are converted into products, the products are being converted back
into reactants.

The forward reaction is the same as the back reaction.

A chemical system…

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Shifting the Position of Equilibrium
The position of an equilibrium can be altered by changing:

The concentrations of reacting substances if dealing with solutions
The pressure of reacting gases
The temperature



Le Chatelier's Principal

If a system is at equilibrium and a change is made in any of the conditions,…

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Changing the Concentration

Concentration change Equilibrium shift What it does
Increasing reactants To the right Decreases reactants

Increasing products To the left Decreases products

Decreasing reactants To the left Increases reactants

Decreasing products To the right Increases products



Changing the Pressure

Pressure change Equilibrium shift Example
Increases To the side…

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Linking Equilibria together
In many systems, particularly naturally occurring systems, two or more equilibria are linked
together so that the product of one equilibrium is the reactant in the second equilibrium .

This is the case for the two reversible reactions involving carbon dioxide.

CO2 (g) = CO2 (aq)

And…

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Steady State Systems
A chemical equilibrium can only be established in a closed system which is sealed off from
its surroundings.

In an open system, a series of reactions can reach a steady state, where the concentrations
of reactants and products remain constant.

An example of a steady state is…

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