Van 't Hoff equation
The van 't Hoff equation in chemical thermodynamics relates the change in the equilibrium constant, Keq, of a chemical equilibrium to the change in temperature, T, given the standard enthalpy change, ΔH
o, for the process. It was proposed by Dutch chemist J.H. van't Hoff in 1884.
The van't Hoff equation has been widely utilized to explore the changes in state functions in a thermodynamic system. The van't Hoff plot, which is derived from this equation, is especially effective in estimating the change in enthalpy, or total energy, and entropy, or amount of disorder, of a chemical reaction.
- 1 Equation
- 2 Van't Hoff plot
- 3 Applications of the van't Hoff plot
- 4 See also
- 5 References
Under standard conditions
The van't Hoff equation is based on the assumption that the enthalpy and entropy are constant with temperature changes. In practice, the equation is experimentally approximate in that both enthalpy and entropy changes of a process (reaction) vary (each differently) with temperature. Its accuracy is determined in accounting for the curvature in the standard enthalpy changes over temperature. A major use of the equation is to estimate a new equilibrium constant at a new absolute temperature assuming a constant standard enthalpy change over the temperature range.
Taking the definite integral of this differential equation between temperatures T1 and T2 gives
In this equation K1 is the equilibrium constant at absolute temperature T1, and K2 is the equilibrium constant at absolute temperature T2.
From the definition of Gibbs free energy
the linear form of the van't Hoff equation can be obtained
Therefore, when the range in temperature is small enough that the standard enthalpy change is essentially constant, a plot of the natural logarithm of the equilibrium constant versus the reciprocal temperature gives a straight line. The slope of the line is equal to minus the standard enthalpy change divided by the gas constant, -ΔH
o/R, and the intercept is equal to the standard entropy change divided by the gas constant, ΔS o/R. Differentiation of this expression with respect to the variable (1/T) yields the van't Hoff equation.
Van't Hoff isotherm
The Gibbs free energy can change with the change of the temperature and pressure of the thermodynamic system. The van't Hoff isotherm can be used to determine the Gibbs free energy for non-standard state reactions at a constant temperature:
where is the Gibbs free energy for the reaction, and is the reaction quotient. When a reaction is at equilibrium, . The van't Hoff isotherm can help estimate the equilibrium reaction shift. When , the reaction moves in the forward direction. When , the reaction moves in the backwards directions. See Chemical equilibrium.
Van't Hoff plot
For a reversible reaction, the equilibrium constant can be measured at a variety of temperatures. This data can be plotted on a graph with on the Y-axis and on the X-axis. The data should have a linear relationship, the equation for which can be found by fitting the data using the linear form of the van't Hoff equation
By measuring the equilibrium constant, Keq, at different temperatures, the van't Hoff plot can be used to assess a reaction when temperature changes. Knowing the slope and intercept from the van't Hoff plot, the enthalpy and entropy of a reaction can be easily obtained using
The van't Hoff plot can be used to quickly determine the enthalpy of a chemical reaction both qualitatively and quantitatively. Change in enthalpy can be positive or negative, leading to two major forms of the van't Hoff plot.
For an endothermic reaction, heat is absorbed, making the net enthalpy change positive. Thus, according to the definition of the slope:
for an endothermic reaction,
and R is the gas constant
Thus, for an endothermic reaction, the van't Hoff plot should always have a negative slope.
For an exothermic reaction, heat is released, making the net enthalpy change negative. Thus, according to the definition of the slope:
from an exothermic reaction,
and R is the gas constant
Thus, for an exothermic reaction, the van't Hoff plot should always have a positive slope.
Temperature dependence of the equilibrium constant
By analyzing the van't Hoff plots for endothermic and exothermic reactions, it is possible to determine how the equilibrium constant is affected by changes in temperature. On a van't Hoff plot, temperature is plotted as 1/T. Because of this, the left side of the plot represents higher temperatures. Looking at a plot of an endothermic reaction, it can be determined that as temperature increases, the equilibrium constant also increases. This leads to a greater amount of product formation as temperature increases.
Conversely, it can be seen on the exothermic reaction plot that as temperature increases, the equilibrium constant decreases. This leads to less product formation as temperature increases.
Applications of the van't Hoff plot
Van't Hoff analysis
In biological research, the van't Hoff plot is also called van't Hoff analysis. It's most effective in determining the favored product in a reaction.
Assume two products B and C form in a reaction:
In this case, can be defined as ratio of B to C rather than the equilibrium constant.
When , B is the favored product, and the data on the van't Hoff plot will be in the positive region.
When , C is the favored product, and the data on the van't Hoff plot will be in the negative region.
Using this information, a van't Hoff analysis can help determine the most suitable temperature for a favored product.
Recently, a van't Hoff analysis was used to determine whether water preferentially forms a hydrogen bond with the C-terminus or the N-terminus of the amino acid proline. The equilibrium constant for each reaction was found at a variety of temperatures, and a van't Hoff plot was created. This analysis showed that enthalpically, the water preferred to hydrogen bond to the C-terminus, but entropically it was more favorable to hydrogen bond with the N-terminus. Specifically, they found that C-terminus hydrogen bonding was favored by 4.2-6.4 kJ/mol. The N-terminus hydrogen bonding was favored by 31-43 J/(mol K).
This data alone could not conclude which site water will preferentially hydrogen bond to, so additional experiments were used. It was determined that at lower temperatures, the enthalpically favored species, the water hydrogen bonded to the C-terminus, was preferred. At higher temperatures, the entropically favored species, the water hydrogen bonded to the N-terminus, was preferred.
A chemical reaction may undergo different reaction mechanisms under different temperatures.
In this case, a van't Hoff plot with two or more linear fits may be exploited. Each linear fit has a different slope and intercept which indicates different changes in enthalpy and entropy for each distinct mechanisms. The van't Hoff plot can be used to find the enthalpy and entropy change for each mechanism and the favored mechanism under different temperatures.
In the example figure, the reaction undergoes mechanism 1 at high temperature and mechanism 2 at low temperature.
The van't Hoff plot is linear based on the assumption that the enthalpy and entropy are almost constant with temperature changes. However, in some cases the enthalpy and entropy do change dramatically with temperature. In this case, an additional term, , can be added to the van't Hoff equations. A polynomial fit can then be used to analyze the data.:
Thus, the enthalpy and entropy of a reaction can still be determined at specific temperatures even when a temperature dependence exists.
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