# Question Video: Determining How a Change in Temperature Affects the Equilibrium Position Chemistry • 10th Grade

The industrial production of ethanol uses ethene gas and steam, as shown: C₂H₄ (g) + H₂O (g) ⇌ C₂H₅OH (g). Considering that the forward reaction is exothermic, what effect will increasing the temperature have on the position of the equilibrium?

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### Video Transcript

The industrial production of ethanol uses ethene gas and steam, as shown: C2H4 gas plus H2O gas in equilibrium with C2H5OH gas. Considering that the forward reaction is exothermic, what effect will increasing the temperature have on the position of the equilibrium?

When considering what effect changing different factors will have on the position of equilibrium, we can refer to Le Chatelier’s principle. The Chatelier’s principle states for a dynamic equilibrium, if the conditions change, the position of equilibrium will move to counteract the change. For example, say we had an equilibrium mixture of two gases; then, we increase the concentration of the reactant. To counteract this change, the forward reaction will be favored, causing more reactant particles to react to form the product, restoring equilibrium. In this case, we can say that the position of equilibrium will move to the right towards the product side.

In this question, we want to know what effect increasing the temperature will have on equilibrium. We’re told that the forward reaction is exothermic. An exothermic reaction is one that releases energy into the surroundings, which would have the effect of increasing the temperature. We know that the forward reaction is exothermic, which as we said would increase the temperature. This implies the backwards reaction is endothermic, which means that it would absorb energy from the surroundings. This would have the effect of decreasing the temperature.

If the temperature of the reaction increases, we know that equilibrium will shift to counteract the change. As the backward reaction will decrease the temperature, we know that the backward reaction will be favored. So, we can say that the equilibrium will move to the left. So when the forward reaction is exothermic, the effect that increasing the temperature will have on the position of equilibrium is that the equilibrium will move to the left.