Summarizing Multiple Equilibria

Key Concepts and Summary

Several systems we encounter consist of multiple equilibria, systems where two or more equilibria processes are occurring simultaneously. Some common examples include acid rain, fluoridation, and dissolution of carbon dioxide in sea water.

When looking at these systems, we need to consider each equilibrium separately and then combine the individual equilibrium constants into one solubility product or reaction quotient expression using the tools from the first equilibrium tutorial.

Le Châtelier’s principle also must be considered, as each reaction in a multiple equilibria system will shift toward reactants or products based on what is added to the initial reaction and how it affects each subsequent equilibrium reaction.


multiple equilibrium

system characterized by more than one state of balance between a slightly soluble ionic solid and an aqueous solution of ions working simultaneously

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