MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why doesn't increasing the surface area of a solid shift equilib position?

Date: Sun May 14 06:28:08 2006
Posted By: Luis Sojo, Faculty, Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1146082197.Ch

Thermodynamic equilibrium expressions are based on the activity of the reactants and products. We commonly use concentrations when we deal with dilute (ideal) solutions. Activity is the concentration times the acitvity coeffient of the compound. For solids, the activity is defined as 1. Increasing the surface area will certainly increase the rate of the forward reaction, but it will also increase the rate of the backward reaction since now there are more speicies in that have reacted with the solids. The net result is compliance with Le Chatelier's law.

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