Chemistry

Difference Between Reversible Process and Irreversible Process

Main difference

The main difference between reversible process and irreversible process is that the reversible process can occur in both directions while the irreversible one occurs only in one direction.

Reversible Process vs. Irreversible Process

A reversible process is the chemical process in thermodynamics that can change its direction, while the irreversible process is the chemical process in thermodynamics that cannot change its direction. The reversible process can proceed in both directions on the other side; the irreversible process can occur only in one direction. A reversible process is used to obtain the initial state of a chemical reaction; on the other hand, the irreversible process cannot give the initial state of a chemical reaction.

A reversible process is a process in which the reactants can be recovered while the irreversible process is the process in which all the reactants are completely consumed. A reversible process is a chemical reaction that can occur in both the forward and backward directions while the irreversible process is the chemical reaction that can occur in the forward direction only.

The reversible reaction always occurs in the closed system, while the irreversible process occurs in the open system. A reversible process is a process in which a dynamic equilibrium can be established, while an irreversible one is a process in which a dynamic equilibrium cannot be established. In the reversible process, many changes occur in the system, while in an irreversible process, limited changes occur in the system.

A small amount of force is required to start the reversible process, while a large amount of force is required to start the irreversible process. In the reversible process, the amount of work done is greater, while in an irreversible process, the amount of work done is less.

Comparison chart

reversible process irreversible process
A reversible process is a chemical process that can go both forward and backward. An irreversible process is a process that can only go forward.
System
System closed Open system
Driving force
The small driving force. The great driving force.
Addresses
Forward and reverse direction forward direction only
Initial state
The initial state can be obtained The initial state was never obtained
Reaction Completion
never completed It’s supposed to be completed
Balance
Dynamic balance can set Dynamic balance can not set
Work done
A lot of work done less work done

What is the reversible process?

A reversible process is the chemical process in thermodynamics that can go back and forth. The reversible reaction can change its direction. It is the process in which the reactants and products continuously change their concentration. It is the process in which reactants become products and products become reactants side by side.

In the reversible process, a small amount of force is required to start the reaction which is made up of many smaller steps. Therefore, more work is done in this process. The reversible process is never completed and dynamic equilibrium can be established during the process where the amount of reactants and products equalize.

It is the process in which we can obtain the initial state of a system or a chemical reaction. There are several deviations that occur during the reversible process.

What is the irreversible process?

An irreversible process is the chemical process in thermodynamics that can only proceed in the forward direction. This process can never change the direction of the procedure. It is the process in which the reactants are completely consumed and converted into products.

In an irreversible process, a large amount of energy is required to start the chemical reaction. It can happen only in one step. That is why the amount of work done is very small during the process. The irreversible process may involve completing the reaction.

It is the process in which it is impossible to establish a dynamic equilibrium, a state in which the quantities of reactions and products are equal. It is the process where once the reaction starts it can never return to its original stage. There is a very limited deviation that occurs throughout the process.

Key differences

  1. A reversible process can change its direction on both sides of a reaction, while the irreversible process cannot change its direction on both sides of a chemical reaction.
  2. The reversible process can take place from both sides; on the other hand, the irreversible process can only take place from one side.
  3. A reversible process is applied to find the preliminary state of a biochemical reaction; on the other hand, the irreversible process cannot give the preliminary state of a biochemical reaction.
  4. A reversible process can recover its reactants, while the irreversible process can consume all its reactants.
  5. A reversible process can continue both forward and backward, while the irreversible process can continue in the forward direction only.
  6. The reversible process always occurs in a sealed system, while the irreversible process occurs in an unlocked system.
  7. A reversible process is a chemical process that can establish a chemical equilibrium, while the irreversible process cannot establish a chemical equilibrium.
  8. In the reversible process, there are many variations that occur in the system, while in an irreversible process, there are restricted variations that occur in the system.
  9. A small force that can drive the reaction is essential to start the reversible process, while a large force that can drive the reaction is essential to start the irreversible process.
  10. In the reversible process there is a larger amount of work, while in the irreversible process there is a small amount of work.
Final Thoughts

The above discussion concludes that both reversible process and irreversible process are the types of chemical reactions in thermodynamics. A reversible process is a chemical process that can go both forward and backward, while the irreversible process is the process that can only go in the forward direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button