eThermo Thermodynamics & Transport Properties Calculation » Gibbs Free Energy
Gibbs Free Energy In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy is a thermodynamic potential that measures the "usefulness" or process-initiating work obtainable from a thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure (isothermal, isobaric). Just as in mechanics, where potential energy is defined as capacity to do work, similarly different potentials have different meanings. The Gibbs free energy (kJ/mol in SI units) is the maximum amount of non-expansion work that can be extracted from a thermodynamically closed system (one that can exchange heat and work with its surroundings, but not matter); this maximum can be attained only in a completely reversible process. When a system changes from a well-defined initial state to a well-defined final state, the Gibbs free energy change ΔG equals the work exchanged by the system with its surroundings, minus the work of the pressure forces, during a reversible transformation of the system from the initial state to the final state.