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I have two questions as follows.

a) Endothermic reactions involving the "cracking" of hydrocarbon fractions obtained from crude oil are essential to the operations of today's plastics industry. Will high or low temperatures provide greater amounts of products at equilibrium?

My answer was:

"By increasing the temperature the system attempts to oppose the
change by lowering the temperature. It does this by favouring the
endothermic reaction which in this case is the forward reaction. By
favouring the forward reaction it is producing more products. Thus,
high temperatures provide greater amounts of products at equilibrium."

Please confirm this answer.

b) During the commercial production of sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide is oxidised to sulfur trioxide; the reaction is exothermic. Account for the fact that a catalyst is used to increase the rate of this reaction, and for the fact that the temperature of the reaction mixture is maintained as low as feasible.

I'm not too sure what question b is asking but assuming that the temperature is low and it is an exothermic reaction, the system will favour a forward reaction to produce more products which in this case is sulfur trioxide?

Please confirm.

Thank you!

I've re-worded and styled the question slightly to make it easier to read. Thanks!

1 Answer

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Best answer

(a) is true IF you are right that the forward reaction is endothermic. Is it?

(b) you are right, but missing the point that a low temperature will give good yield but reduce rate too. Hence you use a catalyst to increase the rate to try to offset that!