Chemical Reactions: The Role of Equilibrium
A fascinating phenomenon happens when two reactants are mixed in a laboratory and the product of each reaction is measured regularly. Over time the product amount stabilizes and is not subject to further changes. This happens because of chemical equilibrium. In this case, the forward and backward reactions in a chemical reaction occur at equal rates (Ruhl 2019). Reactants turn to products as products convert back to reactants. The concentrations remain constant. At this point, a chemical reaction can be considered to have reached equilibrium (Mukherjee 2020). Chemical equilibrium, which is dynamic, is constantly in flux even though the products and reactants remain the same. It is happening at the same speed as the forward and the reverse reactions. The reaction must be irreversible to reach equilibrium. It means the reactants and products can interact to create the reactants. Ruhl, 2019. No matter how conditions or the reactions are modified, equilibrium will ensure that the concentrations of reactants and products do not change (Mukherjee, 2020). Cont….