Response reactions: a way to explain the unusual behaviour of multiple equilibrium systems
Examples of multiple chemical equilibria are considered, illustrating responses of systems which cannot be treated by direct application of the Le Chatelier principle. In order to rationalize these unusual responses, a general treatment of sensitivity coefficients of complex chemical equilibria, both in the gas phase and in solution, is elaborated. The sensitivity coefficients may be given as sums of contributions coming from certain well defined reactions, which we name response reactions. The concept of response reactions enables us to give the sensitivity coefficients a clear chemical meaning and to arrive at a simple and efficient algorithm for the analysis of the sensitivity of complex chemical equilibria.