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Question Video: Determining the Direction of a Reaction When the Equilibrium Constant for Concentration Is Greater than One Chemistry

What is the direction of a reaction when (𝐾_𝑐 > 1)?

02:08

Video Transcript

What is the direction of a reaction when 𝐾 𝑐 is greater than one?

𝐾 𝑐 is the equilibrium constant for concentration. The equilibrium constant for concentration expresses the relationship between the reactant and product concentrations at equilibrium. The value of the equilibrium constant can indicate the direction of the equilibrium reaction. In this question, we want to know the direction of a reaction when the equilibrium constant for concentration is greater than one.

In its most basic form, the equilibrium constant for concentration is calculated by dividing the concentration of the products at equilibrium by the concentration of the reactants at equilibrium. When the rate of the forward and reverse reactions is the same, then the concentration of the reactants will be equal to the concentration of the products. This will result in an equilibrium constant of one.

When the rate of the forwards reaction is greater than the rate of the reverse reaction, we say that the products are favored and the equilibrium lies to the right. At equilibrium, there will be a higher concentration of products than reactants. The numerator in the equation for 𝐾 𝑐 will be larger than the denominator, resulting in an equilibrium constant greater than one.

When the rate of the reverse reaction is greater than the rate of the forwards reaction, we say that the reactants are favored and the equilibrium lies to the left. At equilibrium, there will be a higher concentration of reactants than products. The denominator in the equation for 𝐾 𝑐 will be larger than the numerator, resulting in an equilibrium constant less than one.

As this question is asking about a reaction that has an equilibrium constant greater than one, we know that the products are favored. So, we can say that the direction of a reaction when 𝐾 𝑐 is greater than one is forward.

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