<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Dismiss
Skip Navigation
Our Terms of Use (click here to view) and Privacy Policy (click here to view) have changed. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our new Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Temperature and Free Energy

Discusses the relationships between temperature and free energy in chemical equilibria.

Atoms Practice
[object Object]%
Progress
Try again
Progress
[object Object]%
Retry
Kelvin 506

­­­­­­Kelvin 506

Credit: James Lee
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/6319849827/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

I would guess you’ve never read a book by the title of “Kelvin 506”. Interestingly, it has been proposed that this is the temperature at which paper experiences auto-ignition – it spontaneously combusts!

Why It Matters

  • The temperature matters a lot for some reactions (Have you ever tried to cook an egg at room temperature?). When the products of a reaction are not favored or when a reaction cannot occur, the reaction is deemed non-spontaneous. Changing the temperature can render processes spontaneous (note: this does not always mean you should increase the temperature; some processes are only spontaneous at lower temperature – think freezing water.)
  • Credit: Andrew Malone
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmalone/944345776/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Frying an egg requires the constant application of heat to the pan. Simply raising the temperature of the pan to a specific temperature will not work. The egg will start frying, and quickly stop when the temperature drops [Figure2]

     

  • For more on this, watch the following video: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnkv7iMHq_w

Can You Apply It?

With the links below, learn more about how temperature affects the spontaneity of a reaction. Then answer the following questions.

  1. The sign of G (positive or negative) determines if a reaction is spontaneous or non-spontaneous. SinceG=HT(S) it is possible for G to be negative at all possible temperatures. When is this the case?
  2. Not all paper auto-ignites at 506 K. Please provide some reasons that this might be the case.

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: James Lee; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jronaldlee/6319849827/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Andrew Malone; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmalone/944345776/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Temperature and Free Energy.
Please wait...
Please wait...