Problem: For which of the following processes does the entropy of the system increase?(a) the ripening of a banana,(b) dissolution of sugar in a cup of hot coffee,(c) the reaction of nitrogen atoms to form N2 molecules at 25 and 1 atm,(d) lightning,(e) formation of CH4 and O2 molecules from CO2 and H2O at room temperature and 1 atm of pressure?

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FREE Expert Solution

We are asked which of the given statements suggest an increase in entropy (i.e. +ΔS).

The statements given describe the spontaneity of the reaction.

Recall:

Entropy is the disorder or chaos associated with a system’s inability to convert thermal energy into mechanical work. 

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (i.e. relating to entropy) states systems (chemical reactions) spontaneously move to a state of disorder, hence:

Sfinal > Sinitial = +ΔS


For nonspontaneous reactions:

Sfinal < Sinitial = -ΔS


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Problem Details

For which of the following processes does the entropy of the system increase?
(a) the ripening of a banana,
(b) dissolution of sugar in a cup of hot coffee,
(c) the reaction of nitrogen atoms to form N2 molecules at 25 and 1 atm,
(d) lightning,
(e) formation of CH4 and O2 molecules from CO2 and H2O at room temperature and 1 atm of pressure?