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Naina Razdan Grade: 12

is chemisorption an exothermic process? Explain.

7 years ago

Answers : (1)

Prudhvi teja
83 Points

Dear eshita

As a substance of adsorption, chemisorption follows the adsorption process. The first stage is for the adsorbate particle to come into contact with the surface. The particle needs to be trapped onto the surface by not possessing enough energy to leave the gas-surface potential well. If it elastically collides with the surface, then it would return to the bulk gas. If it loses enough momentum through an inelastic collision, then it “sticks” onto the surface, forming a precursor state bonded to the surface by weak forces, similar to physisorption. The particle diffuses on the surface until it finds a deep chemisorption potential well. Then it reacts with the surface or simply desorbs after enough energy and time. 

The reaction with the surface is dependent on the chemical species involved. Applying Gibbs free energy equation for reactions:


General thermodynamics states that for spontaneous reactions, the change in free energy should be negative. Since a free particle is restrained to a surface, and unless the surface atom is highly mobile, entropy is lowered. This means that the enthalpy term must be negative, implying an exothermic reaction

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Prudhvi Teja



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7 years ago
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