Dynamic Nature of Equilibrium

Chemical reactions can occur both ways (forward and backward) or simply one way. Reversible reactions are those that go in two directions and can be identified by the arrows moving in two directions, as shown in the example below.

H+ + OH⇋ H2O

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    Only reversible reactions can perform dynamic equilibrium, which happens when the forward reaction rate equals the reverse reaction rate.

    A system in a stable state is called dynamic equilibrium. This indicates that the variables in the equation do not change over time (since the rates of reaction are equal).


    Because the concentrations of each chemical remain constant in a reaction in dynamic equilibrium, it appears as though nothing is happening. Reactions, on the other hand, happen all the time. Dynamic equilibrium doesn’t just happen in chemistry labs; you’ve probably seen an example of it every time you’ve sipped a drink. Carbon dioxide is present in both the liquid/aqueous and gaseous phases of a sealed container of soda (bubbles). Because the gaseous carbon dioxide dissolves into the liquid form at the same rate that the liquid form of carbon dioxide is converted back to its gaseous form, the two phases of carbon dioxide are in dynamic equilibrium inside the sealed soda bottle.

    Equilibrium is Dynamic in Nature

    There is no observable net change in the system with this type of reaction. There is no net change in the amount of product or starting material in reactions that continue to progress in the forward and reverse reactions dynamically. Even if there is no net change in a dynamic equilibrium, there is motion. A stable state is another term for dynamic equilibrium. The static equilibrium state, on the other hand, is one in which there is no motion at the steady state. Mechanical equilibrium occurs when particles are at rest, and there is no movement of reactants or products due to vibration, translation, or rotation.

    At the macroscopic level, the static, steady-state can be observed. An irreversible reaction continues until all of the reactants have been used to create products. The reaction comes to a halt when the reactants reach their limit, and static equilibrium is reached.

    An irreversible reaction like the conversion of graphite to diamond, for example, reaches a static equilibrium in which all carbon atoms are linked together in covalent bonds, and their movement is constrained. Because it simply shows the ratio between reactants and products, the equilibrium constant cannot determine whether the reaction is static or dynamic. As a result, the rate of reactions is critical in determining whether a reaction is dynamic or not. The stoichiometric components of the balanced equation can be used to predict reaction rates if the reaction order and rates are determined experimentally. Reversible reactions are known as dynamic reactions. The forward reaction is faster than the reverse reaction in the early stages of a reversible reaction until the equilibrium state is reached, at which the forward and reverse rates are equal.

    Static Equilibrium vs. Dynamic Equilibrium

    Dynamic Equilibrium

    • A dynamic equilibrium is one in which reactants are converted to products at a constant rate and products are converted to reactants at a constant rate.
    • In dynamic equilibrium, changes take place within the mixture while the overall composition remains constant.
    • The forward reaction rate is equivalent to the backward reaction rate in a dynamic equilibrium.
    • The exact status in the system will not be reflected in a dynamic equilibrium.

    Static Equilibrium

    • When all particles in a reaction are at rest, and there is no mobility between reactants and products, it is said to be in static equilibrium.
    • There are no more changes in the mixture while it is at static equilibrium.
    • Both forward and backward responses have come to a halt in static equilibrium.
    • A static equilibrium, on the other hand, will represent the exact state in the mixture.

    Chemical equilibrium is dynamic in nature; with this type of reaction, there is no observable net change in the system. In reactions that continue to advance in the forward and reverse reaction dynamically, there is no net change in the amount of product or starting material. There is mobility in a dynamic equilibrium even if there is no net change. Dynamic equilibrium is also known as the stable condition. In contrast, a static equilibrium state is one in which there is no motion at the steady state. When particles are at rest, and there is no movement of reactants or products owing to vibration, translation, or rotation, mechanical equilibrium occurs.

    Real-Life Example of Dynamic nature of Chemical reaction

    Getting a Bathtub Drained

    When a bathtub is filled to a specific level, and the plug is removed while water is still being introduced through the tap, the water being taken out should, in principle, be equal to the water being put in. While a continuous volume of water is being added to the bathtub system, the amount of water in the tub will remain constant. If the system changes in any way, such as the flow from either end of the tub, the water level will change as well, depending on how much the system changes.

    The ocean’s salinity

    Salinity is kept at a fairly constant level because dissolved materials are constantly introduced by streams, but they are also removed in a variety of chemical, physical, and biological mechanisms. The average time, also known as the “reference time,” is the time it takes for each constituent, such as sodium ions or magnesium ions, to go from input to output. This results in a varied balance between the input and output rates of the various elements.

    Also read: Periodic Trends and Chemical Reactivity

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is chemical equilibrium dynamic in nature?

    Chemical equilibrium is dynamic because forward and backward reaction velocities are equal, and the concentrations of reactant and product are unchanged at this equilibrium condition. Changes in concentration, pressure, or volume can cause the equilibrium to move in either direction.

    In chemistry, what is a dynamic process?

    Chemical equilibrium is a dynamic process that consists of a forward reaction that converts reactants to products and a reverse reaction that converts products back to reactants. The forward and reverse reactions proceed at the same rate at equilibrium.

    In diffusion, what is dynamic equilibrium?

    The transfer of particles from a high-concentration area to a low-concentration area is referred to as diffusion. Equilibrium refers to a condition in which everything is in its proper place (particles are evenly spread out). Things keep happening in a dynamic environment - the particles don't stop moving.

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