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Equilibrium in Chemical Processes: Dynamic Equilibrium | Chemistry Class 11 - NEET PDF Download

Chemical Processes

  • Chemical reactions, like physical systems, reach a balance known as equilibrium. These reactions can go in two directions: forward and backward. 
  • When the rates of both directions are equal, the concentrations of the starting materials and the resulting products stop changing. This stable situation is called chemical equilibrium
  • It's dynamic because it involves an ongoing process where the forward reaction transforms reactants into products, and the reverse reaction turns products back into the original reactants.

What is Dynamic Equilibrium?

  • Dynamic Equilibrium can be defined as the state of a given system in which the reversible reaction taking place in it stops changing the ratio of reactants and products, but there is still a movement of substances between the reactants and the products.
  • This movement occurs at an equal rate and there is no net change of the reactant and product ratio.
  • For these types of equilibria, the equilibrium constants are represented with the help of the rate constants for the forward and backward reactions. Systems maintaining a dynamic equilibrium are examples of systems in steady states.

Question for Equilibrium in Chemical Processes: Dynamic Equilibrium
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What is the state of a system in which the reversible reaction stops changing the ratio of reactants and products, but there is still a movement of substances between them?
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Dynamic Equilibrium in Haber's Process

  • In the process of making ammonia using Haber’s method, the dynamic nature of chemical equilibrium is evident. Initially, known amounts of nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2) are combined at high temperatures and pressure. Over time, the amounts of ammonia (NH3), unreacted hydrogen, and nitrogen are measured at regular intervals.
  • After a while, a specific composition is reached where the mixture remains constant, indicating equilibrium. To understand the dynamic aspect, the synthesis is repeated using deuterium (D2) instead of hydrogen. The equilibrium is achieved with the same composition but with deuterium-containing compounds.

Attainment of Chemical EquilibriumAttainment of Chemical Equilibrium

  • In an intriguing experiment, mixtures from both reactions (H2, N2, NH3, and D2, N2, ND3)  are combined. Despite the initial equilibrium composition, further analysis using a mass spectrometer shows a mix of ammonia and its deuterated forms, along with hydrogen and its deuterated forms. This reveals that H and D atoms continue to rearrange within the molecules due to ongoing forward and reverse reactions.
  • The use of deuterium highlights that chemical reactions reach dynamic equilibrium, where the rates of forward and reverse reactions are balanced, resulting in no net change in composition. Equilibrium can be achieved whether starting with H2 and N2 to produce NH3 or starting with NH3 and decomposing it back into N2 and H2.
  • The balanced chemical equations for the reactions are:

N2 (g) + 3H2 (g) ⇌ 2NH3 (g)

2NH3 (g) ⇌ N2 (g) + 3H2 (g)

Difference Between Static and Dynamic Equilibrium

  • Static equilibrium refers to a condition where the reaction occurring in a system is completely halted and there exists no movement between the reactants and the products corresponding to the chemical reaction.
  • If the forces acting on an object cancel each other, in addition to the constancy of content and composition, no movement of the object takes place. This is static equilibrium.
Static vs Dynamic Equilibrium
Static vs Dynamic Equilibrium
However, the resultant force acting on both of these types of equilibria in a system is zero. Generally, neither of these types of equilibrium display visible changes.

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FAQs on Equilibrium in Chemical Processes: Dynamic Equilibrium - Chemistry Class 11 - NEET

1. What is dynamic equilibrium in chemical processes?
Ans. Dynamic equilibrium in chemical processes refers to a state in which the rate of the forward reaction is equal to the rate of the reverse reaction, resulting in a constant concentration of reactants and products. It is a dynamic state because while there is no net change in the concentration of reactants and products, the individual molecules are continuously undergoing reactions.
2. How does dynamic equilibrium differ from static equilibrium?
Ans. Dynamic equilibrium differs from static equilibrium in terms of the nature of the system. In dynamic equilibrium, the system is actively undergoing reversible reactions, with the rates of the forward and reverse reactions being equal. On the other hand, static equilibrium refers to a state where there is no movement or change within the system, with the system being in a state of rest.
3. What factors can affect the establishment of dynamic equilibrium in chemical processes?
Ans. Several factors can influence the establishment of dynamic equilibrium in chemical processes. Temperature, pressure, and concentration of reactants and products are the primary factors that can affect the position of equilibrium. Changes in these factors can shift the equilibrium towards the formation of more products or reactants, altering the concentration of substances involved.
4. How does Le Chatelier's principle relate to dynamic equilibrium?
Ans. Le Chatelier's principle states that when a system at equilibrium is subjected to a change in conditions, the system will respond to counteract the change and restore equilibrium. In the context of dynamic equilibrium, Le Chatelier's principle can be applied to predict the direction in which the equilibrium will shift when changes are made to factors such as temperature, pressure, or concentration.
5. Can dynamic equilibrium be reached in all chemical reactions?
Ans. No, dynamic equilibrium cannot be reached in all chemical reactions. Reversible reactions, where reactants can form products and products can also react to form reactants, are the ones that can establish dynamic equilibrium. In contrast, irreversible reactions proceed in only one direction, and a state of equilibrium cannot be achieved.
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